Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Party at the Funeral

I've never had so much fun at a funeral before!

You may find those words hard to believe, but they are the ones that keep leaping out of my mouth each time I talk about the funeral of Miss H. She had lived a long and full ninety years for Christ.

One significant take-away from her memorial service is intentionality.

Miss H, at a young age, had been given two years to live due to a serious medical condition. For the the next fifty-five years--through countless surgeries, through endless pain and discomfort--Miss H planned her memorial service.

Thinking about our mortality, our final days, our life's brevity seems unnatural and even a bit counter-intuitive to living a life of vitality and vigor and joy.

"I want to be missed, but this is to be a day of celebration." These were Miss H's own words at her memorial service. An appropriate message for a woman whose trust was in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of her sins. Miss H is rubbing noses with Jesus, face-to-face in heaven. Eternal life in glory is a great reason to celebrate.

It's also a great reason to live well.

Through all of Miss H's struggles, she held onto the truth of the Bible, God's promises--irrevocable words of truth and grace and mercy and peace and healing and joy. Her physical body was not healed until death, but the joy and the laughter that bubbled up out of her was unmistakably divine.

Like Paul's words to the Philippians, I think of Miss H in these words:
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain Phil. 1.18b-21 

Miss H, you've been delivered and have gained your eternal inheritance. And I, I rejoice in the legacy that you have left and choose to press on.

Lord Jesus, with full courage, may You enable me, with eager expectation and hope, to live intentionally in Your strength. Hide in my heart the living and active Word. Let me not forget there is a finish line to this life where the party will be just beginning. Amen.

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