And Isaiah the prophet . . . said to him, “Thus says the LORD,
‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’ ”
(2 Kings 20:1)
When I was serving in my first pastorate, I visited a sick female member of my church in the hospital, accompanied by two deacons. After I read Psalm 23 to her, she just burst into tears and asked me, “Is it really that bad?” Indeed, death is a taboo subject for most of us because it frightens us so much. Strangely, we cannot imagine that we would ever die. Yet our early church fathers would often teach not just how to live well, but also how to die well—to have a good death.