Romans 14:7, 8 for none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Way back in high school I began reading some Earnest Hemmingway and encountered the phrase “For Whom the Bell Tolls” which he used as the title to one of his novels. Later, I found this phrase originally came from John Donne, the famous 17th century author of Paradise Lost. It is found in his Meditation XVII and goes: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” Is this really true in a time when most of us barely know our neighbors let alone most of the folks in our community or any fellow countryman that doesn’t appear on TV? The second and third sentences above are part of the funeral liturgy I use and I guess I believe that if the second and third sentences are true then the first is also. At least, I hope it is true in the church. I have seen it be true in the church. How about you? This week where will you belong and where will you be alone?