This morning a celebration of life will be observed for a woman who was part of my Life Group from church. She passed away and entered the presence of Jesus on Good Friday shortly before midnight. My first thought was what an Easter celebration she had. 🙂
Her final days in hospice care provided some poignant moments. One that I will never forget was bringing some grape juice and gluten free crackers to observe communion with her, her family, and a few Life Group members. I sat near her and read scripture to her, played some worships songs, and prayed as we shared communion.
When a Christian friend passes away, I am always mindful of what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 about grieving:
brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope
Even in death we have hope because of Jesus. He defeated death for us through his resurrection. The plan is already set for our resurrection which Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
When a Christian dies, our spirit/soul enters into heaven enjoying eternal glory but we also wait for that day our bodies will be resurrected. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:8:
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
and home it is.
So as we celebrate my friend’s earthly life, I will be mindful of the truth that she lives on in heaven and is much better off than I am at the moment. I will also remember that for Christians death is not goodbye. It is see you again.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.