The last day, the last object, the end of the book (apart from a postscript for tomorrow).
The object is the bed, and the social history reminds us that bedsteads as we know them are a relatively late invention. A gentle parallel is drawn between sleep and death, and the naturalness (if ther'es such a word) of each (unless tragedy is the cause of death).
Among my minister friends is a running annual joke that we are queueing up to borrow Jesus' tomb for a sleep on Monday, because we are so weary after Lent and Holy Week. It's certainly irreverent but it pretty much captures the same idea - that death and sleep are not so different.
In recent weeks I have learned of two devout, and well loved people, who have been place in medically induced comas in an attempt to save their lives, one from a brain injury, the other following an extrememly rare adverse reaction to medication. The first of these is now making steady progress, though it will be a very long time before they get home; the second is still critically ill. The first I know, and count as a friend; the second I know of, and have never met. Thankfully, the God who, in Christ, has experienced and transformed death for all eternity, is watching over each of them and will hold them safe now, and for always.
I find myself reminded of the Victorian children's bedtime prayer...
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray ther LORD my soul to keep;
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the LORD my soul to take.
As Lent draws to its close, and we wait patiently for what tomorrow will bring, may God bless us all; wiith refreshing rest now, and the assurance of etenral rest still to come.