After Sunday lunch last weekend, I had a long conversation with my roommate. A good chunk of it was about worship song lyrics and the resurrection - 2 topics that I can talk into the ground.
We talked about one of my current favorite corporate worship songs, which happens to paraphrase Hosea/1 Corinthians 15 - "Sin has lost its power, death has lost its sting..." - it's a powerful lyric. However, she helped me remember how in the midst of grief it's hard to see how death has no sting. We talked about that for a long time - but it was just reminder #842 this year of the lesson God's been teaching me: death is not good - but He has done and will do something about it.
There is a real tension in talking about death as Christians. We can't act as though death wins - because we know that we have the promise of heaven. We have a God Who was raised from the dead and therefore has control over it. However, we can't act as though death is an inherently good thing either. It's a result of the fall - and contrary to God's creation and nature. (Think about it - if God defines perfection - and He's eternal - then death is the opposite of that.) That's why it's not okay to give trite or over-simplistic answers to people who are grieving. We should mourn WITH them... It's a bit of a paradox in perspective (I've heard people call it living in the now & not-yet).
I ran across a blog entry that articulated this as well as anything else I've read: The God Who Hates Death. I hope linking to someone doesn't seem like a cop-out, but his thoughts are honest and have a lot of truth stated so well...that I'd just recommend giving it a read.