2 Samuel 23: 1-5
“These are David’s last words…” the 2 Samuel passage begins. There is a long-standing Christian practice of death-speeches, the last words at the end of life. Christians would ponder throughout their lives upon the words they would say, hoping for a “good death” that would offer the opportunity to praise God out loud at the end. John Wesley’s last words are reported, “The best of all is, God is with us.”
Imagining our last words can actually be a very helpful practice for living a faithful life in the present. It quickly clarifies what really matters. When we imagine standing at the end of our lives looking back, we can imagine what we hope to have done, who we hope to have been, how we hope God has shone through our lives. And that imagination exercise of future-retrospective can offer wisdom and courage for the ordering of our steps today. It reminds us of who we want to be. Today.
On the All Saints Eve – aka Halloween – we pause to remember and give thanks for all of our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, shining God’s love into the world, ordering their steps in the way of Jesus.
You might want to try it. Imagine yourself at the end of life. What do you hope your last words will be?