DAY 19 - THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
A funeral, memorial, or celebration of life is a time to mourn the loss of a loved one; it’s also a time for reflection of your own life and how you’re living it. I’ve presided over many. I’ve seen people grieving and remembering the person who passed and what he or she meant to their lives.
Many moons ago, when I was a youth pastor we would have a funeral for Jesus around this time of year. We would bring in a real casket and have the room set up for a funeral. Students would come and share as Jesus’ close friends about what He taught them and how their lives were different because of Him. It was one of the most powerful things to witness. Students would share tender encounters as a disciple or close person of Jesus, but their real experiences came through in their stories.
Maybe some of us have thought about our own memorials—what would others say? Did you love your family and friends? Were you a positive influence to those around you? Is the world a better place because of your presence? Was your life one that glorified Jesus? Most of us have had these natural occasions or opportunities to examine our lives and our impact. After these times of reflection, did we make changes to firm up our influence in the world?
As a young man, I had skin cancer a few times. When I was in my twenties, I was told I had four kinds of cancer, and they were rare for my age. We were a young family and fairly new in our faith, but God was using us. I remember the one night I was pondering what if—what would happen to my wife and kids? What about what God wants me to do?
Paul is telling us to walk in our new life. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are no longer slaves to sin. We get the chance to reflect and ask ourselves, “If I am dead to sin and alive to God, how am I doing?” If we answer anything short of perfect, then we get to make some changes to honor His life and His sacrifice to free us from our sin and, in turn, share that with others!
Someday, we will go to Him in death, and our work here will end. Then people will hopefully say great things about us at our funerals. Did I live for Him and love others before that final image is shown on the screen? For me, I’ve asked my family to end my service with a quote from Porky Pig saying “That’s all folks!”
Talk about some family member or friend that has passed away and how they impacted your lives. Then talk about how Christ’s death has impacted your lives? Make sure each person has a chance to share.
PRAYER & REFLECTION
If you died today, what would people say at your funeral or memorial? What would Jesus say when you go to meet Him? What adjustments can you make today? Have you fully “died to sin”?