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.

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