Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fun-eral or funeral?

I just read a great article from the magazine Modern Reformation, entitled "Funerals From Hell: Where have all the graveyards gone?"  It contrasted the now traditional evangelical "celebration of life" with a more traditional Christ-centered service about His victory over sin, death and the grave.  It's a few pages long, but definitely worth the read.   

I'm hoping that my funeral is not in the near future, but just in case, here are a few thoughts. I hope more is said about the oncoming death of the people in the pews and the repentance that would lead to their eternal life than what I did in my short life.  I hope that the service is an acknowledgment that death was not part of God's good creation and that is a sad and terrible curse.  I hope there is a celebration, but a celebration of the fact that we do not grieve as others who have no hope (1 Thes. 4:13.)  I hope more glory is given to God than to me.


Heidi said...

i read the article. interesting. i guess i've never been to a fun-eral. my dad has made sure of that. his major gripe is that churches now are all trending toward the happy happy what's sin attitude so i can imagine the same is happening for funerals.

as for the body viewing, i guess i can see what he's saying but i've always found it to be disturbing and unnecessary. as long as the message is clear, i say to each his own as far as that practice is concerned.

Sharon said...

Having just come from a visit with a recent widow this article was especially timely. She talked about how her husband had suffered in ICU for 6 weeks and how she had watched him move from one medical crisis to the next. She also shared that she hoped people would not think her "hard hearted", but that she was really happy for Al, her husband. He was with Jesus and that our whole lives are really a preparation for that time when we will be with the Lord. The name of Jesus, the Lord, God's mercy came often from her lips. We read from Romans 8:38...
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." It was a REAL conversation about the reality of death and all of it's difficulty, but underlying it all was the victory over death because of what Jesus did on the cross. I came away encouraged and blessed. I don't think Al's funeral will be a celebration of his life, but rather one that points to the cross. I know that's what he would have wanted.

Anonymous said...

Good article, Andy. We had a good friend in GR, Darlene, who reviewed and rewrote her funeral service every year (picked scripture readings, hymns, etc.). It always reminded me of the chorus: With Eternity's Values in View. I've thought often about what people (especially my children) will think when they pass by my casket. It's quite sobering, actually...but in a good way.