Thursday, December 09, 2010

Lessons from the House of Mourning

Yesterday my family and I drove to Ordway for Tiffany Brock's funeral. As with Dale Goetz' funeral, it was one of those rare events that fills the soul with solemn joy. I told my children as we drove away from the cemetery that I was deeply thankful they were able to be at an event like this, for there are few things which embody so much biblical wisdom as a truly Christian funeral. It is impossible to adequately put into words all the sturdy wisdom and sublime grace communicated in such a setting, but here are at least a few of the thoughts that pulsed in my heart last night.

  • I was challenged to live my life fervently for the Lord like Tiffany did. Living with the knowledge of approaching death tends to blow the lethargy of worldliness out of the mind and snaps the soul into readiness. It teaches us to set our affections on things above where Christ is.
  • I was vividly reminded of how brief life is. Our lives are a vapor. How clearly I remember the joy of the Brock family staying with us as we all prepared for David and Tiffany's wedding. Now we were reunited for Tiffany's funeral. 
  • The effects of sin are painful, almost beyond words. Funerals like Tiffany's make me hate sin - especially in myself.
  • Nevertheless, life in Christ overcomes with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory!
  • I am so glad for Christian funeral practices. They give genuine expression to our grief and to our great hope in the resurrection. I particularly like the fact that at the Ordway cemetery the graveside service really is at the grave side. The symbolism of human frailty coming into contact with eternity can be felt. The sun was tending toward its rest beyond the mountains, shedding it's light on the little band on the prairie, as the final words were said where Tiffany's body would be laid to rest. It was fitting that she should be laid to rest where her parents and grandparents and even great-grandparents had labored under the sun. Now, our hearts yearn for that day when the trumpet will sound and she will be raised incorruptible.
  • Last, I was encouraged by this funeral to abound in the work of the Lord. However insignificant my little labors are, they are not in vain in the Lord.
Death is swallowed up in victory. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

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