8/30 Ecclesiastes 7:2

2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

Pastors have the responsibility to marry and bury. When I began in ministry, I did not look forward to officiating at funerals. Now I value the responsibility and opportunity to speak when we are celebrating the past life of a believer. It is the one time when their friends and family, who don't know what it is to have the comfort of salvation, stop long enough to consider their own mortality.

We know we will all die. What will be said about us? What did we really accomplish? Did we touch any lives enough for them to want to say something? Then the unbeliever has to consider what motivated our love. They also have to face the fact that their belief system does not deal with death in the way Christianity does. We have a wonderful hope based on Jesus' statements and His verification of those statements (John 11:25).

The loss we mourn is a temporary one. We know that when we pass we are instantly present with the LORD in all His glory. We know the work in us will be complete (1John 3:2). The grief of temporary separation of those we leave behind is mixed with the joy of knowing our struggles are over, and we are face to face with Jesus. The world sees that joy and lays it to heart. I believe one of the greatest opportunities to share the gospel to a postmodern culture is at the funeral of a Christian.

Consider: Will your memorial service be an opportunity for the unbeliever to hear the difference that knowing Jesus makes in a life? Have you written down what you want shared at your funeral? Consider doing that and leaving it with your pastor or with your will. Then it will be a "Last Will and Testimony."