When we are grieving, we sometimes want to find something to read which both moves us and allows us sink into our grief, but which does not necessarily drive us to despair. The Bible is a source of much knowledge and wisdom, but it is sometimes hard to know where to start especially if we are turning to it to help us with our grief.
A selection of Bible verses about death and other verses can help.
The Book of Revelation is not always accessible or easy to understand but here in chapter 7 verse 17 is a verse that can bring comfort:
“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Sometimes it is helpful to read two passages one after another, so that a sense of grief, chaos and madness can be counterpoised with a sense of calm, and a promise of hope in the future.
The Committal Sentences from the Book of Common Prayer talk about how:
“We have but a short time to live. Like a flower we blossom and then wither; like a shadow we flee and never stay.”
Yet contrast this with the calm promise of Psalm 23, one of the most famous psalms, often used in funerals:
“The Lord is my shepherd: therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture: and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort. He shall convert my soul: and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name’s sake. Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
When we suffer a bereavement or loss, it is inevitable that we will consider our own mortality and death, even if that moment is brief. Ironically this can have a healing effect on us as we think about this, as it can make us consider our own lives in a new context and give us hope for our future.
This is passage from the Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon) shows us about someone who is living without being worried about their own mortality.
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen: thy salvation.”
By finding hope in our darkest moments we make a journey through mourning to somewhere new.