Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
Recently, I participated in a wonderful funeral service. That may sound weird, but it turned out to be a joyous celebration of a life lived well. The person concerned was a very gentle, humble, kind man, who touched the hearts and lives of practically everyone that he knew. His family shared some beautiful memories and there was a lot of laughter, mixed together with our tears. It was a blessing to be there: a cheerful event, filled with faith, hope, and love.
In the afternoon at the graveside, I improvised on some of the words from the Church of Scotland's Book of Order. I told the mourners, "We are not meant for the darkness of despair or death, but are created to enjoy God's light and love." It was a touching moment, and I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with us. I think that we all realized that the wages of sin may indeed bring about our deaths, but the everlasting life which Christ has won for each one of us is indeed the greatest gift that we shall ever know.
From time to time, we all contemplate our mortality and the impact that death makes in our lives. The beautiful gift of faith, however, grants us an assurance that in Christ, death is not the end; it's just the inevitable transition to a new and eternal beginning. We may lose loved ones to death and feel an emptiness in our lives, but we and all our loved ones who trust Christ's promises are with Him in God's kingdom through the faith that we embrace and share.
Questions for personal reflection: How has death affected my life? How can Christ's love restore my faith and hope?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You experienced dying and conquered death so that we may be given the opportunity of everlasting life. Help us to live our lives in that hope, so that we may enjoy the light and love of God, both in this life and the one that is yet to come. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" (Lyrics)