Sugarbag, Where is thy Sting?

You may not have spotted it, but this beautiful flower is hosting dozens of tiny bees. Called Tetragonula carbonaria, or more commonly, the Sugarbag bee, they are very small and have no sting. We Englishmen might call them ‘flies’, but naturalists in Australia, to which these creatures are native, note their pollinating skills and thirst for floral nectar. I love bees, but I am always wary of their sting. Unlike their more aggressive colleague the wasp, bees will only sting as a last resort. Nevertheless, a careless elbow or moving foot may threaten a bee into releasing its painful barb. Not so the Sugarbag! A bee with all the benefits of pollination but no painful sting sounds alright to me. 

The apostle asks in 1 Corinthians 15:55:

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

For the Christian, death is no longer a painful bite or throbbing sting. It offers those whose sins are forgiven neither terror nor dread. In fact, like the Sugarbag bee, it is rather useful; it performs a vital function but without offering harm. Death is the escalator upon which we ascend to heaven; it is the waiting taxi which takes us to the palace.