The House of Mourning
Most people don’t like going to the funeral home very much. But interestingly, the Bible tells us it is better to go there than to a party (Ecc.7:2).
How could this be?
Because going to a funeral home reminds us that we too are going to die one day.
Going to a party is not likely to get you thinking about eternity. Going to the funeral home will.
And once you are able to see that this end is coming for all of us, you are in a much better position to live with prudence during the days that you have.
Going to the funeral home reminds us that our days are limited, so we should make the most of them. It urges us to number our days, so we can gain a heart of wisdom (Ps.90:12).
Accordingly, we shouldn’t presume upon the future, thinking we have all the time in the world. Because we don’t. We don’t know what our lives will be like tomorrow. Each one of us is a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (Jas.4:14).
Consequently, we’re to give our all to what we’re given today. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, knowing that there is no activity or planning or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecc.9:10).
The most obvious application of this is that we need to take care not to fritter away the opportunities God gives us. We need to use all of our wisdom and strength to fulfill all that God has given us to do as faithful stewards.
We should take the same approach to amending our own lives.
It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment (Heb.9:27). We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive according to what he has done in the body (2 Cor.10:5).
Sobering thought. But needful, because it insists that we amend our ways – now. And this includes both what we do in private and public.
A big area to consider along these lines is our relationship with people.
How is it that we treat all those in our lives who are made in God’s image? Selfishly or lovingly? Do we seek to be served by them or serve them?
A trip to the funeral home leads us also to put away petty squabbles and bitterness toward others. One should not wait ’til their deathbed to make things right with those they love.
Most of all, a visit to the funeral home should get us thinking of the basis of our own hope. And as we do, we should bring all of our regrets to God and seek His grace, knowing that all who trust in His Son shall be forgiven and have everlasting life.
With this, the fear of death is taken away, and we are free to live for God in the days He apportions.