I attended a funeral of a co-worker yesterday. Ken Rush served his church, denomination, and Christian higher education. At his funeral, he was lauded for living a life faithfully to Christ, from start to the end–even through his cancer. It was moving.
As a kid I didn’t attend many funerals. Not sure if that was because I didn’t like them (I didn’t) or because culturally kids were kept away. Anyway, some of the most memorable services I’ve attended have been funerals for beloved saints.
While the pain and grief are not good, the funeral affords me a time to reflect on our mortality, God’s goodness and message of hope in the life of the Christian. They are important since they remind us what IS important. We get so carried away with life that we forget how short and fragile it is, and that this life is not the main event.
2 responses to “On Funerals”
Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 – “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting,
because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, while the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.” I didn’t really appreciate that passage until I had to give the opening address at my Mom’s memorial service, and was able to really reflect on the quality of her faith and the legacy she gave me. Grieving can be such a healthy, cleansing and clarifying experience for the soul. So many of the clients I work with struggle with rage, resentment and depression, in part, because they’ve never been taught how to do “sorrow work”, never had an influential example of how to truly grieve over loss and disappointment. Perhaps there may have been a time when personal grieving was better understood…maybe that’s when funerals were more instructive to the common man.
“At a funeral you will see an incredible range of emotions expressed only by those who are above the ground.”