And just as it is appointed for man to die… ESV Hebrews 9:27
No one wants to talk about it, but all of us will experience it. We hate it, dread it, ignore it, and hope it goes away. However, at some point, all of us will die. One of my church members tracked me down today to discuss his funeral arrangements. While I hope God leaves him on this earth for many more years, we had a great conversation, and I realized my responsibilities as a pastor include having this conversation with all of my flock. I already know most of them won’t want to have the conversation, and I suspect you don’t want to have it either. Hence, this blog post will lay out the importance of having this vital conversation with your pastor.
What does the Bible say about our death? First, it assures us we will die. Of course, if our faith is in Christ alone for salvation, we are assured of resurrection, and earthly death is merely transition to eternal life. However, all of us will face death. As such, we should prepare ourselves. First, Solomon urged us to go to the house of mourning to consider our end. Our lives will end one day (possibly sooner than we think). Considering our death forces us to evaluate our current life and make necessary corrections. Secondly, We need to consider our theology of suffering and the dying process (this would make another great blog post and sermon). What end of life measures do we consider appropriate and inappropriate? Finally, and most importantly, what legacy will we leave? We have the opportunity to shape the next generation both through our life and through the message proclaimed at our funeral. What message do we want passed onto our children and grandchildren? Have we carefully considered this?
Paul reached the end of his life and readily asserted he wanted to be with Jesus. He had fought the good fight; he had finished the race. He faithfully made disciples during his time on earth. I pray you have done the same. Take time today to consider your funeral. Are you ready to die? None of us are, but are their major things you need to get in order first? What message do you want proclaimed to your children? Think it through, and tell someone, preferably your spiritual director/pastor. Prepare for reality.