Joy in Death
I recently attended the funeral of my 95-year-old grandfather. While tears were shed, there was a lovely celebration of life, as well. 95 years of a kind, honorable, and family-oriented man is a lot to celebrate!
During the funeral service, several Scriptures were read. I was asked to read some of Paul’s words in Romans. While death seems so final, we can remember that life remains…just not a life we fully understand nor will experience it ourselves. What joy there is in that! Romans 6:4 says:
…The newness of life... While my grandfather is no longer here on earth, he has a wonderful new life with Christ in Heaven. Grief and sadness are part of death and how we process and heal. But there is joy through that and after that. Another reading that was shared was out of Ecclesiastes 3 where Scripture calls out the times for various actions.
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
The pastor pointed out “a time to mourn and a time to dance”. He noted that we know we are healing when we can begin to dance again. I liked that focus. The pastor’s words and reflections aided in the celebration of life that we all shared in together.
If you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, may you find joy and celebration amidst the grief.