The House of the Mourning
In my life as a pastor and professor for the past 45 years, I have been called upon to conduct many funerals. Most of them have been for my friends. That makes it particularly painful, but also peculiarly positive because I know where they are and will be forever. They are with the Lord Jesus.
This past week Marsha and I went to my hometown in the California Bay Area to be at my sister in-law's "celebration of life service." She was my age and had been in poor health and finally succumbed to a host of health issues.
It was difficult "going home" for a variety of reasons. One of which was that almost all of my friends have already passed away, as well as my parents. But also, I did not know most of the people at the memorial except for a few of my brother's friends.
The celebration of life was a magnificent tribute to a wonderful woman, a wife, a mother, grandmother and friend. Many shared stories and songs. The three-hour celebration gave people who were present an opportunity to remember and reminisce about the past. But there was not a word about the future. There was not a word about God, heaven or eternity. The silence was deafening. The absence was acute.
The words of Jesus are striking and stunning in terms of their immense importance. He reminds us that there is a resurrection of life and a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:29) He declares that He is the resurrection and the life and those who believe in Him will have eternal life and never come into judgment. (John 5:24)
Until He comes for us,