I went to a friend’s funeral yesterday. He was a great man of faith, who lived life to the fullest, impacting many people, including myself. I visited with many friends; some remembered it was my birthday today and encouraged me with kind words. It made me think about the commonality of funerals and birthdays:
A funeral tells the story of where we’ve been and where we’ve gone. A birthday is a chapter in the story, marking the way to where we’re going.
A funeral delineates what’s important and what’s not important in the end. A birthday provides the perspective that there’s no time to mess around with what’s not important.
A funeral provides time for others to remember and celebrate our life. A birthday is a reminder to celebrate life.
A funeral focuses on how we’ve lived the years of our life not how long we’ve lived. A birthday focuses on how many years we’ve lived not on how we’re living.
When you get down to it, how we live is what matters. The Apostle Paul, who wrote a good portion of the New Testament described what matters succinctly:
- Romans 5:8b: “But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (NIV).
- Philippians 2:5: “Think as Christ Jesus thought” (NLV).
- Colossians 3:23: “So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s” (The Voice).
With these three crucial points, I echo the Apostle Paul’s prayer:
So I bow in prayer before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14- 21, NCV).
Celebrating the gift of life today—Kerrie
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)