Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints. –Psalm 116:15
Today, we celebrated the life and legacy of an amazing woman who left this life and is, even now, in the presence of her savior.
Now, I’m a preacher’s brat and I’ve been to more than my fair share of funerals. More than most people’s share, I’d say, but this service was different than every single one of them.
If I may be immature and brash for a moment: It was my favorite.
Ann walked this planet for 96 years and was a member of our church for about fifty of them. Her face has been in the pews throughout my entire life. To the delight of our congregation and her family, we didn’t host her memorial at a graveside or at a funeral home. We celebrated right in our own sanctuary. With the people she’s spent her life ministering to and worshiping alongside.
That’s not so different, you’re thinking. And you’d be right. Lots and lots of memorial services are held in churches. But what made this one so distinct was that we held it right in the middle of our Sunday morning service.
And you know what we do on Sundays? We worship. We sing and dance. The Bible is opened and we learn. We praise God for all He’s doing and for all He’s done. We acknowledge His sovereignty in the earth and we ask Him to break our hearts for the things that move Him.
We did all of these things today while remembering a woman who would have wanted nothing less.
As our worship team led us into an AMAZING song service, I was overwhelmed at how every song, every verse, was filled with the words of eternity. As we shared stories of Ann’s life and her many passions, I found myself grateful, once again, that I get to live and breathe in a world created by our Father. And I was very aware that I will one day give up my mortal body and be in the very presence of our King.
Just like Ann.
Just like the many, many saints who have gone before her.
Ideally, it will be my children and their children who make the arrangements for my funeral. But, in case I go before they’re old and gray (sob!), you should know that I want my memorial service to be just like Ann’s.
Do it on a Sunday. Worship. Crack open the Bible. Have someone sing “I Hope You Dance.” Pray for the city. Pray for the world. Grieve a bit, sure, but remember, as Pastor quoted today, “we don’t grieve like those who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Cause I’ll be good. I’ll be in the presence of the one who created me. Of the one who died on the cross to redeem me. I’ll be in the presence of the God who vanquished death. And nothing, NOTHING, would make me happier than to know you’re remembering my life gathered around His table, in His house.
After all, our days on earth are like a shadow.
It’s in eternity that the real party begins.
“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”–Jesus