The Preacher, Solomon, tells us in Ecclesiastes that the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting. How can that be? How can sorrow be better than a full stomach and much laughter among friends? Having recently experienced the loss of a close friend and her funeral, let me offer my thoughts as to why a funeral is better than a feast.
We are reminded of the importance of sharing the gospel as we reflect on salvation.
I knew my friend was experiencing the glories of Heaven. But what about those who have never professed Christ or they say they believe in God but never show any fruit of a saving relationship with Him? The house of mourning brings to mind those around us who do not know Christ which hopefully produces a zeal in us to share the gospel with them.
We see the need to make the most of the time we have with our loved ones.
Is there someone we need to extend forgiveness to? Have our lives become so busy that our family time is suffering? Now is the time to tell that person how much we cared for them. We don’t want to find ourselves wishing that we would have taken the time to do this or that.
We examine our own mortality.
Are we living the way we want to live? Are we living for the glory of God? Will Christ be able to say to us “Well done good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:23) Are we doing the good works God has prepared for us beforehand (Ephesians 2:10) and making our days count for the Lord?
We can be the hands and feet of Jesus by comforting others with scripture, a caring hug and listening ear or providing for needs as the family grieves.
There are many stages of grief and different ways people go through their own mourning. We must continue to remember the family weeks after the funeral.
We think of the joys of the Heaven.
I guess, for the believer, I think of death a little differently. I see it as a release from life “under the sun”, that is the life we live in a sin cursed world, that the Preacher also writes about in Ecclesiastes.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. -Psalm 16:1
We cannot comprehend life under the sun without knowing the SON.
Oh, the joy of knowing Him and of everlasting life in Heaven…
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:4
One day the house of mourning will be no more but for now let us remember the lessons we can learn from it and adjust our lives accordingly.