click image for a hi-res version
We just returned home from a two-day celebration of the life of Wilson D. Miller, my grandfather. It truly was a celebration of his life and his ‘home-going’.
I am so thankful to be a part of a family that celebrates AND mourns.
Did you catch that? “celebrates AND mourns”…
I think sometimes Christians live by an ‘either/or’ option here instead of a both and. Those who celebrate WITHOUT mourning quote Matthew 8:12, where Jesus tells his disciples to let the “dead bury their own dead”. Christians who find difficultly with the “celebration” part of a funeral of a co-heir with Christ might focus attention on Jesus visible grief at the death of Lazarus in John 11. In all honesty, “Jesus wept.” (11:35) doesn’t resemble joyful celebration at all, I don’t think.
I believe the healthy response to loss, rather, includes both mourning and celebration. I personally find it easier to ‘do’ the celebrating and much more difficult to ‘do’ the mourning. I recalled numerous memories over the past couple of days that enabled me to do both – and I’m thankful to have been surrounded by friends and family who walked and continue to walk that road together.