Written by cycleguy on March 27th, 2016

Like many churches we had a big day on Resurrection Sunday. We had our service at our building and asked folks to consider coming to the first service if they could. These people here are fantastic! We had 131 in our first service; 145 in our second. Yeah…I’d say that was pretty evenly rounded. Good thing we did it that way though. No way could we have ever fit that many in one service. It was a good day. A fun day. It was also the first time in 3 years we were in our own building.

I told this story:

Dr. Donald Barnhouse was a pastor at the 10th Avenue Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1927-1960 when he died one month after being diagnosed with a large brain tumor. When he was in his 30s his first wife died of cancer, leaving him with 3 children. Grieving as he drove to the memorial service with the children in the back seat he watched a truck pass by and cast its shadow across the car.

He turned to his oldest and asked her if she would rather be run over by a truck or its shadow. She guessed the shadow because it couldn’t hurt her. “Your mother has not been run over by death,” he replied, “but by the shadow of death.”

Death is not an enemy anymore. Check out this verse, especially the last phrase. The Greek word for “abolish” means “to render inoperative.” Death has lost its victory; death has lost its sting. Here’s a video I showed Sunday. Enjoy!


17 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! Happy Easter, and congrats on being in your own space! Truly a Springtime event, a new beginning.
    I really liked the video you showed. Your church must be so enlivened by your words and video!

    What a great story about the ‘shadow of death’. And what faith to comfort his children at such a time of sadness for him after his wife’s death. Faith can make us such champions, can’t it?
    Easter blessings to you and yours,

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Ceil. It was nice to be in our own space. Glad you liked the video. Not sure how it went over except had a few singing along. 🙂 I liked the story as well. I worked hard getting it in.

  2. Linda Stoll says:

    a vapor, fading flowers, withering grass …

    i’m there.

    listening to the video even as we speak.

    powerful. thanks, Bill.

  3. Sharon says:

    Oh, I love that!! Yes, we live in the valley of the shadow of death, but need never fear death itself anymore! However, I am chagrined at how easily I am frightened by the *shadow*.

    I love these verses:

    “…the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, andonly by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”

    (Hebrews 2:14-15, NLT)

    I remember when I noticed that the verse spoke about being a slave – not to death itself – but to the FEAR of dying (the shadow).

    But even in this, Jesus helps me overcome.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death…I WILL NOT FEAR!


  4. Alleluia! Jesus is risen!
    Blessings, Bill!

  5. Pam says:

    Great thoughts to ponder, Bill. Never thought of death as being just the shadow now that Jesus has risen. Thanks!

  6. Betty Draper says:

    In tears I comment Bill for tomorrow I fly out to be with my mother who is declining fast in the nursing home. What an encouraging story and song. Of course I covet your prayers that Mom’s time here on earth would end quickly. She is down to almost nothing, does not want to eat, will hardly talk, sleeps most of the time. Of course I will grieve when she is gone, every time we come home I will grieve that she is not there but now I grieve for the state she
    is in. For the past several months she has been saying she wants to go see her Mom and Dad. At first she would say, take me to their house, well, their home has been in heaven for 30 years, so I can confidently say, soon Mom you will be at Mom and Dad’s home. Thank you Bill, my heart is refresh, been washed clean with tears of joy because of the truth in your post.

    • cycleguy says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom Betty but as you have already stated her soon-to-be future home is so much better. Just praying for God’s grace and mercy to overflow you.

  7. Lisa notes says:

    Watching the video now…
    Love the shadow analogy. Beautiful, Bill. I’m glad you had a great Easter leading your church family!

  8. floyd says:

    That’s an awesome quote! Death reunites us with our Father. “Whom shall I fear?”

    Glad to hear your services went well, Bill. It’s good to celebrate and appreciate a good day… and there is no better a day than That day.