Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him. (verses 13,14)
Today I ordered some flowers for a funeral. In a few days’ time I will be attending a cremation service for a relative. As a matter of custom we will arrange for a wreath. In part, it will be to show our respect for the dead. Flowers, too, have a way of brightening up what can be a dark and miserable day. As a Christian, I also believe that these blooms can symbolise new life, my belief in the resurrection, which is the basic hope of my faith.
Everybody grieves the loss of a loved one. Where death has been premature or untimely, the bereaved can feel inconsolable. I too feel deeply hurt when I lose loved ones, but it is a sense of loss mitigated by a great hope, that just as Jesus was raised from the dead to eternal life, so will we all, including those close to me. We can look forward to a happy reunion with each other in the presence of God.
Everyone sends flowers to funerals. For some, they are the only bright thing that happens on the day. For those of us who believe in the resurrection, they are symbols of the new life to come.
Dear God, I look forward to the time when Jesus will come again and reunite all your people with you in eternal life. Keep me in that hope. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.