An old legend tells of a merchant in Bhagdad who one day sent his servant to the market. Before very long, the servant came back, white and trembling, and in great agitation said to his master: “Down in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd, and when I turned around, I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Master, please lend me your horse, for I must hasten away to avoid her. I will ride to Samaria, and there I will hide and death will not find me.
The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant galloped away in great haste. Later, the merchant went down to the market place and saw Death standing in the crowd. He went over to her and asked, “Why did you frighten my servant this morning? Why did you make a threatening gesture?”
“That was not a threatening gesture,” Death said. “It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bhagdad, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samaria.”
Each of us has an appointment in Samaria. But that is cause for rejoicingnot for fear, provided we have put our trust in Him who alone holds the keys to Life and Death.