I attended a good funeral last night. I am not a fan of funerals, so to say a funeral is good is out of character of me. Actually, for anyone to say a funeral is good seems odd, so let me clarify. This particular funeral was different for me for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t personally know the person we were memorializing, though I had spoken with him briefly on a couple of occasions since we attended the same church. The second reason it was different was that it was simple and straight to the point.
A longtime friend of the deceased began the service by recounting memories and a history of their friendship. He kept returning to his theme: “I needed a roommate but I got a friend.” It was a collage of thankfulness and loss, a picture of the pains and joys that characterize life in this world as we long for the better one that is to come.
Our minister finished the spoken part of the service with a simple, yet powerful presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, good news that is so simple and complete that there was just nothing left to say. Jesus did for us, and the deceased, what we cannot do. That is save ourselves. We simply believe and He saves…completely and forever.
This world and the one beyond were well-connected as relationship with others in this world was appreciated and the good news and promise of being forever with Jesus was treasured as precious.
Amazing Grace was sung at the end of the service and that is really what it is about. God is gracious to save unworthy people and that is amazing.
I left this funeral service not just knowing the deceased more, but knowing and loving Jesus more. When that happens, the funeral can be called good because it points to him that is truly Good.