A Tale Of Two Funerals

I was involved in two funerals in the last three days, and they couldn’t have been more different.

At both funerals people said goodbye in their own way.

At both funerals family members cried.

At both funerals there was singing.

At both funerals the life of the deceased was celebrated.

At both funerals loved ones grieved.

The huge difference was how they grieved.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Paul says that we are sad, we grieve, but we grieve differently when we have hope. What hope? The hope of life after death. The hope that only belief in Jesus can bring. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never ever die” (John 11:25-26).

At Thursday’s funeral the family grieved deeply because they had no hope of life after death, no assurance, only wishful thinking.

At today’s funeral it was a joy to grieve with a family because they had such solid hope! They have an absolute, unshakable assurance that their loved one has life after death. And that makes all the difference in the world in how they will grieve.

4 Responses to “A Tale Of Two Funerals”

  1. Thomas C Johnston Says:

    I know that it has been a taxing week, it is a part of ministry that we can not get pass, but we offer hope in times of sorrow.
    It’s not who is in the funeral but WHO is in the funeral.
    We have the hope of Jesus Christ the one WHO died for us, as long as Jesus is in the funeral we have a promies of hope!!!!
    Keep telling the world that our hope is not in what we say, it’s in the Lord Jesus Christ the One who gave His life so that we may have life to it’s ____________ .
    Each one of us need to fill in the blank for ourself.


  2. Craig T. Owens Says:

    Betty Ann King was the saint whose homegoing we had the privilege of celebrating on Saturday. She wrote many poems, but the one entitled “I Hear Him” is espcially appropriate, since it talks about her eternal home in heaven. –CTO

    They said she’s not worthy
    with words so unkind.
    They said she’s not respectable;
    God said, “She’s Mine.”
    I hear the voice of Jesus,
    I hear the voice of my Lord,
    I head the voice of my Savior
    saying, “My child, I adore you.
    I hear you call My name in desperation.
    I hear you call My name in praise.
    I hear you call My name in worship.
    I hear each time that you pray.
    I know that you love Me.
    I know that on Me you depend.
    It’s for you My Son I did send.”
    So lift your hands and heart toward heaven
    when life seems unable to bear.
    There’s a wooden Cross on Calvary
    proving Someone cares.
    Listen to the voice of Jesus.
    Listen to the voice of the Lord.
    Listen to the voice of the Savior.
    A home in heaven will be your reward.
    – Betty Ann King (1935-2008)


  3. Nate Elarton Says:

    Great Insight Craig. Tough week! God is with us and he is faithful.


  4. Steve Says:

    An hour ago my favorite professor here at the seminary passed from this life to the next. We will be having a funeral for him in a few days and I will be grieving, not without hope, but for my temporary loss.

    The way that Dr. McGee lived his life was the way in which he passed away. Not to long ago he told me that “As a Pentecostal my desire is to beat down the gates of heaven, but I have been a Christian since I was five years old and my inclination is to walk in quiet trust with him.” This is how his life ended today, I hope and pray that those of us who know Christ can also lay down our will and “walk in quiet trust with him.”

    I am happy for Betty Ann King and Dr. Gary McGee.


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