8th October 2012

Is That All There Is?

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
John 5:24 (NIV)

Is that all there is?” is the title of a song that became a hit for Peggy Lee, earning her the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1970. In the decades since, various artists have released cover versions, including one by a jazz trio as late as 2008.

The lyrics of this song are written from the point of view of a person who is disillusioned with events in life that somehow don’t meet with expectations. After each disappointing event, the singer expresses the view, “if that’s all there is” to the event, “Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.”

In the song, death constitutes the final disappointment, “When that final moment comes and I’m breathing my last breath, I’ll be saying to myself, Is that all there is, is that all there is?”

In one of his letters, the apostle Paul wrote that if it weren’t for the resurrection he would have similar thoughts and feelings of disillusionment. “If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, ‘let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.’” (1Corinthians 15:32)

Paul’s belief in a general resurrection was founded on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection shows God’s approval of the saving work of the Christ and has paved the way for the rest of humanity. “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1Thessalonians 4:13-14)

Christ’s resurrection gives a different perspective on life and death. Life is not futile but has meaning and purpose; and death is not final, we have a future. Death is painful and tragic for the loved ones left behind. Although they grieve, it should not be without hope. For those departed, death is the gateway to the resurrection. In and through Christ, we have hope and cross over from death to life eternal.

Father in heaven, we thank you for the hope we have in this life and for the future, through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Study by Eddie Marsh 

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One Response to “8th October 2012”

  1. Graham Tarrant on October 18th, 2012 5:47 pm

    Hi Eddie, many thanks for your thoughts around this beautiful song by Peggy Lee, which sums up the existential vacumn within people today. I have the privilege of working as a social worker within palliative care in a Hospital, and my heart goes out to those who cannot reconcile their dying with life after death.
    As Robin Jones said many years ago, conversion is a miracle, for us now, but I pray for the world in the resurrection, that they to may be blessed with this miracle

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