Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, John 5:24
Death is something that happens in everyone’s life. It can be horrible or peaceful. It can hurt or not. It can be done at the hands of another or by suicide. On April 15, 2013, the famous Boston Marathon was run. The Boston Marathon is one of the oldest marathons run on American soil. There have been world records set at this course, and it truly pushes the boundaries of the human soul to endure the oftentimes painful 26.2 miles. This day, however, it will be forever remembered by a different kind of finish for some people. A final finish. Several people were injured and 3 were killed by 2 bomb blasts that went off at the finish line today.
As a runner, one of the most joyous and best feelings in the world is when I cross the finish line of any race and I know that I gave it my all. I know that there is nothing else that I could have done to run a better race that particular time. I just feel like I can relax for the rest of the day (and then I remember that I have yet to cool down). The race is over, and done. I can take time to rest until the next practice.
Last Friday, I got the privilege to watch a play our theatre department put on. It was entitled “Leaving Iowa.” The play was built around the story of a man going to bury his father’s ashes, and on his trip he has flashbacks of one particular family road trip. He hated his father’s ideas of “awesome” family trips.
At the point in the play where he finally put his father’s ashes down, I immediately thought of the relationship that I have with my dad and what it’s going to be like when he dies. He is one of the spiritual pillars that I can run to when things go wrong. He is someone who I can fully trust and confide in. Our relationship has gotten so much better since I’ve opened up to him. It’s amazing where God has taken me through this experience.
But, as Christians, we have all the hope in the world!! We can be joyful in the midst of our mourning. We have a place that we can look forward to that is infinitely better than anywhere we can go on this earth. At a funeral, one of the key things I think that we as Christians miss a lot of times is that there is life everlasting for our dead Christian brothers and sisters. The flesh will decay and die; it’s one of the curses of mankind found back in Genesis 3:22. But, for Christians, the Spirit lives forever! We can have assurance that we will live forever!
“But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face”
-Jeremy Camp: “There will be a Day” from his Speaking Louder than Before album
Prayer: Pray for our Christian family that is hurting. Pray that they would find something positive during the funeral of a loved one. Pray that they would be able to move on and get as close as they can to the life they had previously to that person’s death. Pray that their faith would grow through this experience.