Friday, December 14, 2018

Thursday Thoughts: The House of Mourning

June 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Articles, Thursday Thoughts

Last quarter we studied the book of Ecclesiastes in one of our Wednesday bible class. In the seventh chapter and verse 2 we read what might seem strange at first.

2 Better to go to the house of mourning; Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 (NKJV)

 

The idea that going to the house of mourning, or we would say to a funeral, would be better than going to a potluck just doesn’t sound right. Solomon was not saying that going to a feast is bad but that it is better for our souls to think on eternal things and that is generally done at a funeral. I know that this is true at least for older people. The older I get the more the reality of death is brought home. When I was young the thought that death was a reality was something that was always in the future. Even though I thought it was way in the future there was something about a funeral that made me stop and think about life and death. I was always mindful that whoever the person was, rich or poor, they took nothing of this world’s goods with them at death. One could not help but wonder why we knock ourselves out to obtain things in this life as though the accumulation of things was of the utmost importance.

Over the past six weeks I have attended five funerals. At each of these something was said to inform the audience that we would all have our appointment with death. Some of these that passed on were young and it was a complete surprise. Others were in there nineties and had not been in good health and therefore not a complete surprise. At each, whether a surprise or not, there was the realization that death is final. Was I prepared to see my Father? This was serious and I needed to take this to heart just as Solomon said “the living will take it to heart”.

Although we do not know the time or the hour of His returning, we do know for certain that He is coming back to claim His own. He also said, in almost every case, that we should be ready and watchful for that time. We need to be prepared for that time.

42  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 

Matthew 24:42-44 (NKJV)

 

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. 

Matthew 25:13 (NKJV)

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 

2 Peter 3:10 (NKJV)

 

For many of us that time will be when we leave this earth. All opportunities will have passed for us to do anything about our eternal destiny.

 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV)

 

In the parable found in Matt. 25:1-13, there were 10 virgins. Five were said to be wise and five were said to be foolish. All of these virgins represent the Lord’s disciples. Some would be prepared and some would be unprepared for the bridegroom when He came.

In Matt. 7:24-27 Jesus tells us who will be wise and who will be foolish. He who hears the word and does it will be wise and he who hears the word and does not do it will be foolish. When it comes our time for others to attend our funeral will we have been wise or foolish?

One other thing that struck me at these funerals was the slide shows that were being shown before the service started. These showed pictures of the one who had passed on with family and friends during times of great fun. I wondered if I will have taken the time to enjoy the life that God has blessed me with. During these times that are spent with family and friends will I have been an influence for good? Will those who see these pictures in a slide show know that I was grateful for all that God has given me?

At this final time will my funeral be a sad occasion or will it be a time of rejoicing because I was prepared to meet my maker? Will these glimpses of a life lived bring back memories of good deeds, kind words and times of great joy? Will they encourage all present to seek to please the God who loves us and motivates us to do what we need to do to be prepared for that day?

I hope that we will all be prepared when that time comes. I hope that all who are there will rejoice because we have gone home to be with our Father. The next time you go to a funeral remember that God says that it is good to be here and reflect on life and death because it is at these time that we really get it.

-Don Davenport

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