Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Past, present, future...

I have had several events over the course of the past few days which have pointed out to me the rapid speed at which we live and die. "Ugh!" you say. "What a morbid thought!" Nope. I don't think so. Hear me out on this one.

In one weekend, there was announcement of pregnancy, a wedding, and a death. Each event brought thoughts to my mind. The most powerful, however, was the funeral (shocking, I'm sure), although the wedding was a close tie. I want to focus on the funeral though.

The funeral was for Mrs. Sharon Niedrach who died Friday night. I wrote a post about her just a few days ago. Mrs. Sharon had planned out her funeral to a tee. She planned it down to how long the pastors could talk. I loved how each song, bible verse, and each charge to the congregation was clearly Mrs. Sharon. She was in each moment. She wanted the service to glorify God. And I know that it did. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful funeral service I have ever been too. Although, as I was telling my dad, it was all because of the person. Mrs. Sharon was a beautiful lady. She was beautiful because of her faith. It defined her and that was obvious to everyone who knew her.

As I sat there between my dad and my friend, Matt, it struck me more potently than ever before that this was a woman that I want to imitate, even in death. As the service went on, I was awe struck at the worshipful nature of the service. God was most certainly present and glorified in all that was said and sung. Mrs. Sharon's desire for her funeral service, a celebration of her life, was that the focus be on Jesus Christ. As her sweet friend Marilyn said, "Sharon is not the hero of Sharon's story; Jesus Christ is the hero of Sharon's story." This is because of His grace and mercy in her life. She was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. She proclaimed it with gladness.

Another thought that hit me was that, while death is not something that I have thought about for myself, it is not something that I totally fear. As a Christian, there is nothing for me to fear in death. I know where I am going. When I said that I want to imitate Mrs. Sharon in death, I mean that I want to long to be with my Savior as she longed to be with Him. While she was sad that she would be leaving her loved ones for a time, she was more than willing, happy, and ready to spend eternity at the Father's feet.

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

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