I haven't blogged as regular as usual because of various things in life happening.
On of those things was attending the funeral and thanksgiving service of a friend who died recently. It was the first funeral I have attended that was for a Christian. It was amazing.
He was an amazing man. I remember he gave me honest and Godly advise on a number of occasions, never pandering to my ego but telling me straight what I needed to hear. It was advise I will take with me to my own journey home to Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15 was read out and everyone applauded at the end of it being read out such was its power and relevance for this occasion.
Stories were told and memories shared that inspired, challenged and changed me.
Sarah and I were inspired and amazed at the strength, authenticity and love for God that his family showed throughout.
Sarah and I took our two daughters with us. We believe it is right for them to witness and experience the reality of life and death. I was sitting next to a man who was talking to a lady in front of him who said that it wasn't the occasion to bring children. We are all entitled to our opinion.
But I do believe we hide away from death and its reality. We sanitise and seek to put behind closed doors the truth and reality that people die. When in India our car pulled up next to truck that had a glass coffin on the back with a dead woman inside. Death is a real and seen as part of life in other countries. Does not make it any less painful, raw or stinging, but it does make it a reality.
We are not immortal.
Grace knows that our friend is with Jesus now. She knows he has died to be raised to a new life. She knows Jesus will return and death will no longer have ay power over us.
Where O death is your sting?
Where O death is your victory?
Thanks be to God because he gives us victory in Jesus!
We need to embrace the truth and reality of life and death, face up to the importance of today and how today matters. We must not hide ourselves from death but recognise that yes, it is painful, yes we do grieve and hurt at the loss of loved ones, and yes, Jesus can transform this day with hope for tomorrow.
'Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.' 1 Thessalonians 4