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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Who Has Hope at a Funeral Service?

I can tell the difference.

I look into the eyes of those who have assembled in the chapel of the funeral home. The casket is directly below where I am speaking. All eyes are fixed on the corpse if the casket is left open. But if it is closed I see two reactions.

There are those who look at me with pleading eyes. They want to believe what I am saying about the resurrection of the body. They have heard it in church before. They have never had to believe it until now.. .and now they are just not sure.

There are those whose eyes exude confidence. They know the life of the one who has passed. They know his faith. They are sad but not afraid. They will miss their loved one but they know there is a resurrection. They know the Lord and He has not failed them yet.

There are those who grieve and have no hope. They don't believe any of it. They think the one who has passed is just gone. Their reason for attending was out of respect. They hope the service doesn't take too long. It's a waste of time anyway.

Of course, that last group is totally different when it is someone they love. They have ashen faces. Their own mortality stares at them. They have no hope and they know it.

I have to perform two funeral services today. Which group would you be in if you were attending either of these services?

1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV)
13  Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.

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