Monday, March 28, 2005

This Joyful Eastertide: Hastening a Resurrection or Unholy Ground and the Schaivo case.

He is Risen!

My favorite Easter hymn is written by George Woodward, This Joyful Eastertide.

"This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow! My love,the Crucified, has sprung to life this morrow. Had Christ, who once was slain, not burst his three-day prison, our faith had been in vain. But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, but now has Christ arisen!" True being a Scandinavian I love the Dutch tune, but it is the text that makes this my favorite Easter hymn.

There are many who believe that with the pending death of Teri Schiavo, I am writing this on Easter Monday, this will not be a joyful Eastertide. For those who embrace life, who celebrate Resurrection, let me remind you that it is Christ victory over death, and that alone, that can bring ultimate joy to this situation. Teri who will starve to death, if something is not done by our legal system, is one who at the same time has never been hungry, nor thirsty. A child of God from the waters of baptism, a child of God who has received Christ's body and blood through bread and wine, Teri does not hunger and she shall live forever, even though she dies. This is not my opinion, but Jesus' promise. (John 6:35-58)

Yet, while there is eternal joy in the midst of this tragedy, make no mistakes about it, while Easter says "away with sin and sorrow!" we as a nation have, from the bench, legislated sin and mandated sorrow. While there is much ground to cover in this case in regards to end life issues such as: the difference between passive and active roles, oral vs. written directives, family members offering different testimony in regards to a non-communicative patients desires, family members offering to care for the said patient while other members of the family say for any care to be offered would violate the patients wishes, refusing life extending measures vs. removing them, etc. and we can talk about any of them; The ground on which I want you to mentally rest for a moment is this, The legal system of our nation is requiring the death of a living person who is no more in the act of dying than the one reading this post nor the one writing it and who we do not know for certain, differing testimony has been offered in court, would agree with such action and consider it good, right and salutary.

The judicial branch of our government has gone so far as to place a police officer in a hospital room to prevent a mother from bringing water to her own child, lest she drink and live. The state has required the death of a citizen who would continue to live if she were simply fed and many of our own citizens are calling for the death of another because, "they wouldn't want to live like that."

We aren't dealing, at least in my understanding of this case, with the issue of removing life extending technologies from a person who would die without them. We aren't wrestling over an individuals choice to refuse extreme measures. Rather, we as a nation have condemned a person to death by starvation because short of an execution this is the only way she will die at this time. Are we standing on quick sand here? The powers that be in this case have chosen death, and are quite possibly opening a pandoras box for the thousands of citizens in our nation who find themselves in the same physical condition as Teri and for all of us who will at some time face such circumstances either in person or through family and friends.

Rest on this ground for a moment, reflect, pray seek, God's input (read Dt. 30) and know "Had Christ, who once was slain, not burst his three-day prison, our faith had been in vain. But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, but now has Christ arisen."

I Thess. 2:12


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