How can thanksgiving change our situations?
By CCD contributor: Rev. Si Duoyong
on January 07, 2017 07:01 AM
Editor's Note: "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart."(Ecclesiastes 7:2, NIV) Nobody wants to talk about death but we are destined to die and experience deaths of our relatives and friends. Funerals are inevitable then how to hold an appropriate funeral?
A pastor writes this article to share his views on funerals.
Related Bible verses:
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4, NIV)
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, NIV)
"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8, NIV)
I have conducted about eight Christian funeral services in the past 2016. I want to share my opinion with you:
1. I think that I have rectified the wrong ideas of many believers and reminded them that their dying relatives shall receive treatment at hospitals.
Though hospitals always suggest patients' families to take them back home with numerous reasons, I talked to a doctor and was replied that hospitals were not places that welcome dead people for deaths affect their profits. Then I asked him if homes were where people should die!
So I advise you not to take your dying relatives home! They can pass away in peace in the hospital.
2. The most immoral thing is to discuss funeral affairs near a dying patient before his final breath.
He needs to be accompanied, encouraged and supported as well as a prayer that adds his faith.
3. Rural churches set up mourning halls in houses which just held weddings with decorations.
This really ruins the atmosphere. The important thing is to create a mourning atmosphere that conveys solemn silence.
4. As Christians, we shall learn the truth from funerals that God takes that person away and he falls asleep in the Lord with blessings.
The purpose of attending funerals is to remember his character and learn his personality! Don't go to funerals just for receiving protection from deceased persons. That is a religious philosophy that worships people. But we should be aware that only Jesus is God who can truly protect us!
5. A funeral should be simple and solemn.
It's not an evangelistic meeting. A high-profile funeral costing a lot of time and energy will be a waste. It shall be a time to remember the deceased person and comfort his family, also an opportunity to educate the attendees. Tell them our faith confession and that death is beneficial as living is meaningful.
A good funeral is actually the best chance to preach the gospel, through which people see our good deeds and reflect and contrast Christian perspective on death with theirs. Otherwise, they can't be attracted if we do in a superstitious and secular way.
Translated by: Karen Luo
How can thanksgiving change our situations?
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