Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why So Sad?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

There is an old saw that goes "there are only two things sure in life: death and taxes. Face it, death is all around us. Every day we either read about it, hear about it on the news, or less frequently, we are touched by it personally. It is generally at those times when someone close to us has died that sorrow grips us.

And yet, if we mind scripture, we see that the death of another Christian is not a cause for great sorrow. Not that it is wrong to mourn the loss of a loved one. I would liken it to having a family member move to a different state; far away but much more beautiful, with a better climate, and with a really good job waiting for them. Sure there is sadness involved, but is it sadness for them? No, of course not. They are far better off where they have gone. So why are you so sad? Easy, you are feeling sorry for yourself, because you no longer have their company. Is it wrong to be sad about your loss? Certainly not.

And so it is with the death of a Christian. If you yourself are a Christian, then there has to be a goodly amount of joy mixed in with the mourning. After all, the one you are mourning is with the Lord, and the thought of that is so wonderful as to defy description!

But, as the above scripture states, there is another group in sight; others which have no hope. Those others are the ones who do not have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Indeed, they have good reason to sorrow. Not only for themselves, but also for their loved ones who sleep, but not in Jesus.

This past weekend I attended the best funeral I have ever been to. Now that's something you won't often hear! But it is true, nonetheless.

About 7 months ago my brother Bill found out he had stomach cancer. To make a long story short, he passed away last week, but not before he and his wife Carol had shown themselves to be splendid examples of faithful Christians. Bill was completely upbeat and praising God right to the end; but of course "the end" was only the end of his pain and suffering. It might be more accurate to say right up to the beginning, for as the Bible tells us, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Knowing that his time was limited, Bill and Carol, together with their Pastor and Carol's brother (also a Pastor) planned the memorial service in advance. They wanted it to primarily be a Gospel message; something that would bring glory to God's name ....and I believe they were successful. One of the highlights was the reading of Bill's written statement about faith The whole service was down right inspiring.

Of course there were some tears, but for many of us, they were tears of joy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You