Saturday, February 16, 2013

Feb 16 - DAY 4 - Made to Last Forever

Day 4
Made to Last Forever

God has … planted eternity
in the human heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Pastors like funerals.

That always seems strange to people.

We hate death. We despise losing friends. We grieve when we see families grieve. But …

I remember my first funeral. A wonderful man named Allan died suddenly. He was a leader in the church. We called him, “Mr. Lutheran.” I couldn’t sleep at all the night before the funeral. It seemed like the hope of an entire family would be resting on me and my feeble words the next morning.

I’ve done a hundred funerals since. And while the pastor plays a role, hope definitely does not rest on me. All I have to do is point people to the cross and the empty tomb. The wonder of a funeral is that people are finally hungry for truth … and light … and hope … and the gospel. The cross heals. The empty tomb restores hope.

Even the best orators are accustomed to some droopy eye-lids. But a funeral is the only time when every ear is attentive. Every heart is cracked open a little more open. Clever words aren’t necessary. All we have to do is point people to the Savior, reminding them, “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

And what is the effect of a hundred funerals on me? After each funeral, I’m more and more certain about the reality of heaven. Each time the scriptures of hope that we proclaim come more and more alive. Each life of faith that we celebrate gives me glimpses of how God’s grace repeatedly intersect with human lives.

Each funeral, therefore, personally encourages my faith.  And after a hundred funerals, I agree with C.S. Lewis a hundred times more …

If you focus on heaven,
you get earth thrown-in.
If you focus on earth,
you get neither.

In Christ’s Love,
a guy who’s learning
to focus on heaven
… and is living life
more confidently

No comments:

Post a Comment