Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 says:
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Yesterday I went to the funeral service of a co-worker’s sister. She and her sister who passed were members of very Spirit-filled, Biblically centered churches, and the Pastors for both of these churches spoke in the funeral service. For the VERY first time in a funeral, I truly felt a sense of celebration, and the messages from these 2 men, (one other), and my co-worker were very moving.
The central theme that was made crystal clear was the fact that God is alive and well. His Word is truth, and that by proclaiming it, living it, and struggling with our own fleshly struggles – and learning how to fight that spiritual warfare – we will indeed inherit the crown of life. Although another good person has been lost to family, our earthly relationships, etc., the Master once again has stolen a soul from the clutches of Satan’s evil grasp. Though death is the unavoidable consequence for a broken and fallen world, it is not the end for those who have been purchased by the resurrected Christ.
My relationship with my co-worker was strengthened by this experience. She knows now that I care about her, and her family, and she knows that she’s not all alone at her workplace. While my job is not one of focused ministry right now (Barbershop Harmony Society), I believe I’m called to always be a light and a servant to the needs of fellow believers. While I’ve been involved with urban ministry before in Memphis, this experience in Nashville showed me a different take on a spirited group of believers in a part of Nashville that I wouldn’t ordinarily spend most of my time.
I have perhaps never felt so uplifted by the worship songs. Though we worship in Spirit in Bowling Green, sometimes with clapping, and hands lifted high; I have not personally experienced the degree of complete praise and worship as in 2 or 3 songs yesterday at this funeral. These folks are DEEPLY devotional and it showed in their praise.
Paul said in his 2nd Corinthian letter, “(chapter 4:16-18) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Whatever tradition one comes from, it is true that worship is meant to honor God, and edify us in the process. When it’s not done for that purpose, it’s not done for the right reason. May God be with Jacqueline during this time of mourning, and bless her knowing her sister gave herself to the Lord before she passed.