It is so easy to trot out platitudes or to restate what the scripture already states,
and that is always the temptation in writing a pastoral letter.
Now and again a Minister is asked a question by a non-Church person. These questions can assist in moving away from that temptation. Here is an account of one such question. A young man asked his Pastor; "Why do many Christians use organ transplants to prolong their life or try to prolong the lives of their children when they're born with problems when God has deemed it was their time to die?" He continued, "Why wouldn't a Christian accept their death that comes from God? Shouldn't they just accept it if they are true Christians and want to go to heaven instead of trying to survive on this earth?" Does this not sound as a "fair cop"!
Yet the question has been framed within a culture which is increasingly losing the true meaning of Christmas because the education system and the media continue to indoctrinate people to reject the Bible as truth. Instead, the Christian faith and the Bible is attacked and ridiculed and condemned as a "book of stories" because so-called science has supposedly proved it cannot be true.
Sadly, many Christians don't know how to answer such questions because they, like him, do not have an understanding of scriptural truths. The young man had viewed death, suffering, and dying as something for which God must be responsible. He did not understand that death was an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), an intrusion due to our mortal condition. Death wasn't something that God made and declared "very good" (Genesis 1:31), but a result of man living to himself and away from God - apart from lip service!
It is that sin which meant that mankind put itself outside of God's sustaining power, which caused man to experience a taste of what happens without God. Thus God allowing things like disease, suffering and death to happen is down to an imperfect creation.
We might be able to postpone death with medical intervention, but our true redemption is not in the hands of physicians but in the hand of God. The real remedy is that God stepped into his creation born of a Virgin, and that through his incarnation; through the Immortal becoming man; man could become immortal. This is the meaning of Christmas - and the real defeat of death.