Drop your bucket list! Christ is risen!

By Joel Hess

More than ever, I hear people, even young people, brag about their bucket list. In case you have been living under a rock or in Arkansas, a bucket list is a list of things a person wants to do before they die. It could be a trip to Disney World, sky diving, eating fried worms, visiting Mesick, MI, etc. You get the picture.

I understand what compels a person to compose such a list. We are always under time limits which force us to make priorities, utilize the time as efficiently as possible, and get the maximum done before the end. We constantly live under pressure, whether we are at work, with our family, or even on vacation. Naturally, when we contemplate death, the smart, efficient American in us writes down a plan to make the most of our time. YOLO you only live once, right?

Also, in this retirement culture created by the great excess of wealth enjoyed by the Western world, completing bucket lists has become almost a rite and a right. Right? While the rest of Christians in the world look forward to the new heaven and new earth, some fortunate Americans look forward to retirement and completing bucket lists.

Notice, too, how saddened people become when they hear of a person who died in his teens or younger. He didn’t get to finish his life, they cry! He didn’t get to grow old, retire, and move to Florida.


Unfortunately, no one gets to “finish” his life! Death cuts all lives short. Death is the punishment of sin. Death has nothing to do with life. No one gets to wrap up her pretty little life with a bow and say, “complete.” No one outside of Christ.

I feel so bad for people who live by the phrase YOLO or put so much hope in bucket lists. Will they be satisfied if they put a check in all their boxes? I doubt it. Do they really think death is the end, so they must get it all in now? How depressing! Worse, many Christians who just celebrated Easter live like this! As St. Paul says, “If hope in this life is all we got, we are to be pitied more than anyone!”

I have good news for you who want to do it all but don’t have enough time. Christ is risen. So it ain’t a mad race to the end anymore! This is not actually the best time of your life. You have not reached the prime of your life. You don’t need to rush around trying to get the most out of life! There is no end in Jesus! Christ is risen, and you will rise too!

Your life will not be completed when you die. Your life is completed in Christ, and He is…

Risen, never to die again.


Indeed, God has made a beautiful world, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying it if the opportunity presents itself, but you’ll have forever to enjoy it. There is no rush. You have been freed to enjoy it, knowing that you don’t have to grab everything you can before you die. Christ is risen. Therefore, you will rise too! No matter what you have done on your bucket list, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

So put away your bucket list and YOLO bumper sticker. Stop worrying about “living life to the fullest” and relax! In Christ, you HAVE life to the fullest. So instead of making yourself happy because tomorrow you’ll die, try serving others and sharing the peace Christ has given you with others. God’s got a bucket list too. 1. Conquer sin and death – it is finished. 2. Go make disciples of all nations…

Christ is risen