There is an old Irish folk song, “The Parting Glass.” It is sung at the end of business at a typical Irish pub, but it has a more symbolic meaning. There is a part of the song that goes like this:

Since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I’ll gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all.

What a way to go! To see death as rising softly. To make your last wish a message of joy and peace to your comrades. For Christians, it is the only way to go.


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J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.