He was a great man. A wonderful family, a long prestigious career, an impact on his community, a long time faithful church member and tremendous supporter of that Church. It was a pretty easy funeral, for the memories surrounding him were all positive and even his future is sure because of his faith and the grace of God.
As I was preparing my comments I came across a verse I was aware of but had not thought about for a long time. It’s from Psalm 116 and simply states that the death of a saint is precious in the sight of God.
We rejoice at the birth of a child, and rightly so for it is a time of rejoicing and celebration as we welcome the miracle of new life into our midst. But we realize that it can be a time of fear as well. We don’t know what the journey of life holds for this child. We anticipate and pray for many joys and great and wonderful thing ahead, but we also know of the many dangers that this life holds.
Perhaps the preciousness of the death of God’s saints is that now one has made it safely to their rest. We were able to celebrate the life that had passed because this man had weathered every storm with his Christian integrity firm. He was saved by the grace of God and never turned away from it. So he enters into this “nap” time in the sure hope of the resurrection when Jesus returns. All who knew him knew of this hope of his; and his family, and those of us friends who remain, were able to celebrate his life looking forward, not back.
Surely death is a time of mourning, for we have lost someone who has given us something great. But how great it is to see joy through the tears and rejoice in the safety of rest and the anticipation of, “Well done.”
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