Saying Goodbye

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn…”.
I receive our local paper. I check out the local headlines, sports, and obituaries. My focus is mainly on the obits which has led me to observe a disturbing trend. Many people are choosing to not have a funeral. I realize costs have increased and are burdensome to families, but I don’t think that this is the main reason.
I believe we die the same way we live. Many people today due to lifestyles or beliefs have little connection with God or His Church. We live without any thought of the hereafter. But as we have read in scriptures there is a season for death and mourning. As Christians, we have the hope that in death as in life we belong to Christ. In death our living is not interrupted, we just have a change of venue. Christianity is not only for the now but for eternity. Some live intensely private lives and want their deaths to be the same. The problem is that we are not Islands unto ourselves, and our lives touch many people. A funeral is not for the departed as much as it is for those of us who remain. In the past, viewings were held in homes and churches allowing the family and the community to come together for comfort and closure.
Times have changed, but our need for community remains, as we remember, and celebrate loved ones, finding comfort in the support of one another. I have personally seen many lives encouraged by this process of saying goodbye.

Pastor Bryan Henry

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