As I was eating breakfast this morning, I started kind of spacing out and thinking about where some of my friends are in life now, and how awesome it was when we were all together back in the FBC Sunnyvale days. I’m not sure what spawned that trip down memory lane, maybe it was because that was the first time I really felt connected to the church. Maybe it was because it was during this time that I was introduced to my favorite band, U2 (I know, I grew up living under a rock). Maybe it was because it was the first time I was really able to be involved in ministry. Whatever the reason, during the course of this odd flash of memories I remembered a conversation with one of the youth leaders about how he managed to get tickets to U2’s Vertigo tour. I remember thinking one thing when he said that, and felt myself echo that thought today: I’d be able to die happy if I went to a U2 show.
Such a common phrase, thrown around by many people sarcastically or jokingly…or in the case of many teenage girls, very seriously when it comes to Justin Beiber (I swear, I will never get the attraction to his “music”). It’s such a powerful phrase though, saying that someone can experience something so great that they’d be able to end their time on earth happily. I remember hearing it a lot, as it seems to be ingrained in our culture to express that which would give us the utmost delight. Then I remembered where I first heard it.
Luke 2:25-32 ESV
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was wrighteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to lyour people Israel.”
Simeon just said very seriously that he could “die happy” now that he had seen Jesus, God’s salvation. I know that if many of us we were asked what the most important thing is in our lives, we would say “Jesus”. If for no other reason than it’s a safe church answer. I have no doubt that there are also those of us who very meticulously do our best to actively live out the supreme value which Christ has in our lives.
Yet, I can’t help wondering if when phrases like “I could die happy if…” come out of our mouths, that perhaps it is saying more about us than we realize. Maybe what we deem such a simple, comedic statement is really profoundly revealing hidden idols, or maybe not so hidden, that we hold high in our hearts.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to love good music, movies, or admire and deeply respect people for their accomplishments. What causes me concern is when we elevate those things and allow ourselves to think that they will give us a satisfaction that only God’s salvation can give.
For those who have confessed Christ as Lord, Savior, and Treasure, we have already experienced the greatest event that will happen to us this side of eternity. While I’m not promoting anything crazy like suicide, the person who has confessed Christ should be able to readily say “I Can Die Happy Now!”, and should be anxiously waiting the day we will see our Savior face to face.
Can you die happy now?