Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ponderings From a Funeral

*This post was actually written on July 2, 2010 before I started this blog. I wrote it because I wanted to share these words and knowing that I wanted to start a blog but it took me a while to do so. I stumbled across it yesterday on my computer and really wanted to share it today.*

I went to a funeral today for a very dear gentleman. I’ve known this man since I was about 4 years old or so. I didn’t know him real well, but because we went to church together I had many encounters with this man growing up. He was one of those older men that always had a smile on his face. It was the sweetest smile and he gave hugs that gave him this grandfatherly quality. He will definitely be missed by his family, church family, and friends. I know I’ll miss seeing his smiling face.

One thing that struck me at the funeral today though was the message the pastor was giving; also someone who is a very dear gentleman. He was my pastor for the first 14 years of my life before he retired and moved to the Eastern Shore. He knew the man well who recently passed and so he was asked to come back and deliver the message at the funeral. Being only 14 when Rev. Kirkley left, I never fully grasped his sermons regardless of how good they were. He made an impact on my life as a friend and I’m sure as a pastor in some ways, but in many I was not spiritually ready for the guidance he gave to the church. I was always told he was a great preacher and delivered a mighty fine sermon but I never understood for myself until today.

At funerals, pastors often speak of Jesus being the way to eternal life. That as long as we accept him as our Lord and Savior and strive to be like him all the days of our lives we won’t die and that’s it, rather that we’ll have eternal life with him in Heaven (John 3:16). They speak about how we’ll see our loved ones again and that they’re in a much better place. They talk about the life that was lived and the testimony and legacy the dearly departed left behind. Their sermons are about comforting the family and friends of the deceased.

The sermon that was delivered today was one of just that, hope that we’ll see our dear friend again, but it was also about so much more. Rev. Kirkley began by reading some passages from 1 Cor. 15. Paul was addressing the questions the Corinthians had about death and what becomes of us. The sermon was a reminder to all of us that this place is only temporary. This body that we’re living in is just that, a body. Who we are, what we are, is not our body. We are a spirit, made fully in the image of God. God doesn’t look like us, we look like God. This earth, this life we are living in, this body is just a stepping stone for the eternal life we’ll have in Heaven. Paul talks about sowing seeds and the plants that come from the seeds. When you plant a seed it is just a temporary body for what is inside: the plant. The seed must die for the plant to come to life. It is just like that with us. Our earthly bodies are like the seed, it must die so that we can come to life. The plant is our spirit, our eternal life in Heaven. It will grow and flourish but only because our earthly body has died.

1 Cor. 15:42-44 says, “It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”

This hit me. I have heard this time and time again; we will be raised after death to have eternal life in Heaven with God, this world is only temporary so don’t become of the world. Today I heard this message in a new and different way. I am here on earth for a purpose, I don’t know what that is yet, I may never know until my death and I meet God and look back on my earthly life to see what good I did. But I have so much to look forward to. Death is not a scary thing anymore. Sure I want to enjoy my life while I’m here and spend time with my wonderful husband, start a family, actually use my college degree/education, grow old, fulfill His purposes for my earthy body, etc, but I’m not afraid to die anymore. It just comforted me so much to know that this body I am in is not who I am. Who I am is inside of me, it is my spirit. Who I am will stay with me through eternity; I will always be a child of God. I will always be loved. I am a spirit not a body. I am currently just inside this seed waiting to die so that the plant inside (me!) can come to life. The life that is to come will be wonderful, so very wonderful and I, for one, can’t wait for my real life to begin!

I will never look at a seed the same way again. Thank you Reverend Kirkley.


1 comment:

  1. This is the most heartfelt and beautiful post, Cindy. THanks for sharing it. :)


I love to read your comments and get to know my readers better, so please comment and let's get to know each other! If you're new here introduce yourself!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...