I’ve been in ministry long enough now to have handled probably 50-60 funerals. While they are certainly not my favorite part of being a pastor they offer an opportunity to comfort and encourage folks in their moments of grief. And they serve as a reminder to those of us still living.
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:2 (NIV)
It’s easy to forget that every day is a gift from God and not to be taken for granted. Funerals remind us to pay attention to those things in life that matter most; namely relationships. The funeral I conducted yesterday was difficult and served as a reminder in two ways.
One lesson was about resolving broken relationships. Though I had never met this family it was very obvious that there were some strong breaches in their relationships. Now that “dad” is gone those issues may never get fully resolved. Don’t wait for the other person to make the first move, do everything in your power to mend broken fences and enjoy life together.
The other lesson has to do with hope. On occasion I get called to conduct a funeral because the family has no church connection. That was the case this time. While the funeral of a loved one that knows Christ is very difficult and heart-wrenching, the despair and hopelessness of losing a loved one with no hope of eternity is horrible!
Do you have family members not in a relationship with God? Pray for them daily and look for every opportunity to share the grace and mercy of God with them. Once they are gone, there are no second chances!
I know today’s blog was a bit heavy but sometimes we need to be reminded of what really matters!