‘God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living,’ wrote Solomon in the book of Wisdom. ‘For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them.’
This is one of the boldest and most radical passages in all scripture. And if it is true, we need to talk about it.
If God did not make death: we need to talk about it.
For over the centuries we have blamed God when people have tragically died; and we have involved God in our projects of death. We have enlisted God onto our side in wartime to justify the slaughter of enemies; and when our own people have been killed we have drawn on the language of sacrifice to sanctify their loss. If God did not make death: then why have we done these things?
If God does not delight in the death of the living: we need to talk about it.
For we have grown accustomed to using the language of accusation to explain away people’s misfortunes. We have blamed homosexuality as a cause for everything from autism to tornadoes; we have used the language of judgement in which God is the force behind the disasters befalling the feckless and the wicked. If God does not delight in the death of the living: then why have we used God in this way?
If the generative forces of the world are wholesome: we need to talk about it.
For we have separated ourselves from nature, our advanced industrial societies have regarded nature as something to be overcome and exploited to meet our needs, rather than to be worked with in partnership. We have come to see the forces of nature as something to be protected and insulated from and insured against. If the generative forces of the world are wholesome: then why have we made them our enemy? 
We need to talk about death - because we are a society of death-deniers. Our culture is death-phobic. Our instinct is to deny the reality of death, and to try to resist the inevitability of our mortality.
There is our climate denial; there is our funeral denial; there is our nuclear denial; and there is our climate change denial.
We see our climate denial in the rows and rows of supermarket shelves full of products designed to keep us fit and young: anti-wrinkle creams, scrubs and exfoliators, high-energy drinks, vitamin supplements - designed to counteract our sense of ageing and decay.
We see our funeral denial in the way we organise our funeral industry to distance us from the reality of the physical demise of our loved one, the way that dead bodies are treated almost as toxic and to be avoided, to be got rid of quickly so we do our mourning without them. Our culture unhealthily resists and denies our mortality.
Since the end of the Cold War our fear of nuclear annihilation has been less spoken about - yet deep in our collective psyche the possibility of mutually assured destruction persists; disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima have kept the fear of radiation from nuclear power alive; yet we bury these fears in nuclear denial and persevere with developing programmes of nuclear power and weaponry.
And despite the overwhelming scientific opinion on climate change, that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, due to human activities like deforestation and burning fossil fuels, despite clear changes in weather patterns, and the increase of extreme weather events across the world, perhaps because of the challenge which climate change poses to our established ways of life, many persist in climate change denial.
Yet if God did not make death, and does not delight in the death of the living; if God created all things so that they might exist; if the generative forces of the world truly are wholesome, with no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth - then we must talk about these things.
- the start of my talk today, If God did not make death, we need to talk about it.