Wednesday, February 20, 2013

S. T.’s Funeral


Esstee’s funeral was Tuesday, at our church. Her family invited us to the celebration of her life and we were blessed by being there.

We had known them for such a few years, understanding that she had spent a great deal of these last years battling cancer. While she won many battles, in the end none of us win the war. Life itself is a terminal disease. What we do with it holds the importance, and the memories.

The ripples from Esstee and her husband’s work with children continues in our church. They were a moving force in establishing our church’s ongoing children’s program on Wednesday nights. Pastor explained that start during the memories of her life.

Remember when I wrote about Baptist funerals? Well, Esstee’s certainly was one. Two pastors (that’s not unusual at all), both mentioning the good that she did in her life, which was not a reason for our knowing she was in heaven. They mentioned her years of church membership – also not a reason. Her love for family, friends, others – still not a reason. Nor was the sharing of Christ’s life and His word, as she did and not only with children.

She did all of that, but there’s one more thing that Esstee did that is the reason we celebrate her graduation from this life and her commencement of time in heaven. She read, and trusted:

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:15-16 KJV)

John believed this with all his heart, and shared that faith with a purpose:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13 KJV)

Unfortunately, while these are uplifting, confirming verses that people point to for eternal life, there are others that are just as real, just as descriptive. These verses are the reason we are concerned about our loved ones and desire to spend time discussing their meaning and their application:

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18 KJV)

The Bible is not a buffet where we select only one verse and build a foundation. We must read before, after, in context and come to an understanding:

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12 KJV)

Because of this, I write, ask questions, and pray for those I love.

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