Bereavement naturally raises big spiritual questions for people who have little or no faith. They can wonder about the existence and goodness of God, suffering and healing, who is accepted by God, the afterlife and purpose now. Perhaps one of the surprising things is that people of committed faith can also find themselves asking the same questions. This may be because one of the responses to bereavement is to rethink things, or because churches don't necessarily talk about these topics or, because when they do, the messages conveyed aren't necessarily helpful in the light of bereavement.
Christians have a wonderful message of the saving love of God and hope for the future, which is freely offered through the death of Jesus. But the challenge for Christians is how to convey that helpfully when someone is dying or has died.
We hope to provide articles and highlight here theological resources that could assist churches with their message.
Here are some to begin with:
- Surprised by HOPE, by Tom Wright, SPCK 2007
- Heaven, by Paula Gooder, SPCK 2011,
- Where on earth is Heaven?, by Paula Gooder, SPCK 2015
- God on Mute, by Pete Greig, D Cook 2007,
- Where is God when it hurts?, by Philip Yancey, Zondervan 1990
- Faith Questions in Bereavement, by Yvonne Richmond Tulloch, 2020.