Funerals. As a Minister and Elder, I conduct a lot of funerals, and I also attend a large number of funerals every year. I am struck by the various forms of grief behavior I witness. I have seen people wail at the loss of a parent only to find out that they rarely visited and never helped with the end of life care. I have heard public proclamations of what a wonderful person the deceased was, and then heard everyone in private talk about how bad they were. Of course, I also see various responses to death even among the Christian community. Some think that Christians should be so happy about heaven that funerals should be more like parties and tears are seen as a lack of faith. And I have seen Christians mourn so strongly that it seems as if there will be no tomorrow.
So let me share the way God would have his people react to the death of loved ones. Grieve with hope. God said it this way:
Brothers, we do not want you… to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Christians do grieve the loss of loved ones. We bury babies, children, and parents. We grieve their passing. We miss them. We hurt for the family left here. We mourn and we cry. Of course we grieve. But not like other people grieve. We grieve with hope. We believe that death is not the end. We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that he will raise us from the dead also. We believe we will see our loved ones again. We believe that we will live together in the presence of God forever.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
We Christians smile through the tears.
So death and funerals are different for us because real life awaits. I can help you start a family legacy of grieving with hope. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org