The Point: Funeral, Not ‘Celebration of Life’

It’s okay to cry—in fact, Jesus did. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Far too often these days, funerals have been transformed into something they’re not.  “So-and-so is looking down on us right now,” a minister might say, “and if here, he or she would tell us not to cry.”

Writing at the Anglican Pastor blog, Greg Goebel reminds us that “death is a terrible thing,” and that sometimes, so-called “celebrations of life try to avoid the grieving process altogether.”

Sorrow for a loved one is a natural and godly response to death, even if that person knew Christ. Death’s an enemy, though a defeated one, and not part of God’s original design. Remember Jesus’ own response when faced with the death of his friend, even though he was going to raise him to life again.

Traditional Christian burial rites acknowledge grief and pain, while looking through them to Jesus’s words as he wept: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

That’s the part of the funeral message to celebrate, even through our tears.

 

 

Resources

I Don’t Want a Celebration of Life, I Want a Burial Service
  • Greg Goebel | Anglicanpastor.com | June 13, 2017

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