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Hope in Death

The Visitation

Groups of people clustered around the spacious gathering room, in the aisles, between rows of chairs, smiling, chatting, embracing, remembering. Some, with chins quavering, dabbed the corners of their eyes with tissues to levee the tears that overflowed their banks. A blond wooden casket presided over the room, but most of the people ignored its presence. They knew the broken, octogenarian form resting inside was just an empty shell. His spirit was rejoicing in the presence of the Heavenly Father. Jim lived a full life, always surrounded by family and friends, just as in that room at his death.

The Funeral

When the time came for the service to begin, Jim’s son stood to officiate. With fondness, he told warm stories of days gone by, of quirks and habits that made his father beloved by all. The listeners nodded their agreement and chuckled in their reminiscences. 

Jim had been a schoolteacher for more than three decades and a Sunday School teacher longer than that. Years of sharing his life with children, grandchildren, students, and friends, investing his life in the lives of others, talking of the Lord—this was the fruition, being honored by those left behind. Those who would, as his son poignantly noted, “have to learn how to live life without him.”

 “But I know I will see him again one day,” he continued, his eyes wistful. “That hope allows me to stand before you brokenhearted, and yet with a smile.” He shared his father’s love of the Savior. Jim, in death as in life, pointed people to Jesus. 

The Hope

The funeral of a Christian is a time of rejoicing and hope. Though we mourn, we are comforted. The Apostle Paul says, “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. 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” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).

He also says, “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

The Truth

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope after death. But because Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, he provides a way for humans to be reconciled to God the Father, to be forgiven of sin so that we can have a relationship with him. Jesus said of himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He is our hope, the reason we can rejoice even in the face of death, if we have trusted in him as our Savior.

Author:

After a brief career as a pharmacist, I decided to become a stay-at-home mom to my four children, and I homeschooled them for fourteen years. Once everyone grew up and went off to college, I embarked on a new phase of life, going back to school and working on further degrees. I graduated with a second bachelor’s degree in 2019 and recently completed my master’s degree in English and Creative Writing. I have taught Sunday school for more than 25 years, from teens to college to mature adults. I love studying God's Word and sharing and discussing it with others. In this blog, I share my thoughts on faith and life and Scripture. I would love you hear your thoughts on the topics or ideas for future topics.

2 thoughts on “Hope in Death

  1. Absolutely loved this! Thank you for sharing, Vick. I went to your blog and read every piece, even the ones I’d already read. Please consider posting on social media with public settings. A writer of your ability should have a wider audience!! ♥️

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe you haven’t told me about this blog, you know I love your work. This one was so touching , the Bible verses are our hope. Thank you

    Praying for the family.

    Liked by 1 person

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