Christ Church Life – Excerpts from the Magazine

The word closure is often used when tragic events have occurred. The tearful family of a missing loved one are on the TV News. “We just want to know what has happened, so that we can get closure, and move on with our lives”.

The same is true when we have done something we regret.

The memory hangs over us but if we are to live truly open and fulfilled lives we need closure on our guilt. This closure is summarized perfectly by St John in his first Epistle. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.(I John 1:8-9)

As St John reminds us it is no good pretending that the bad stuff never happened. We need to talk it through with our Lord Jesus Christ – that’s confession. When we come clean in this way we are promised absolute closure about the sins we have confessed.

People will often say that the funeral will give them closure, after a death. But this is only a very partial truth. They have done all they can, and in that sense there is an ending.

I was particularly reminded this Easter that the stone was rolled away from the tomb at the resurrection of Jesus. What closed the tomb is now gone.

For the Christian death is not “closure” Death is much more an opening to eternal life. Looking back to Good Friday we are reminded of the words of Jesus to the penitent thief “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)

With the eyes of faith we see that death is not the end, but a gateway to eternal life. St John writes “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

Our Christian faith reverses two ideas often spoken of today in terms of closure. For those of us who feel we can never forgive ourselves, Jesus brings utter closure on our sin. Death a not closure, it is the opening of the door to Eternal Life.

Roger M. Vaughan – June 2019