Dear Grace Church Family,
The funeral for Howie Holm will be on Thursday evening at 5 PM, with a meal provided afterward. A nursery will also be provided for infants and toddlers. (see previous posts)
If you consider yourself part of Grace Church, I really think you need to come to the funeral on Thursday (5 PM) if at all possible. I say this to those who have known Howie and Marie for years and to those who never knew him personally.
Why do I think you should come to the funeral whether you knew Howie or not?
If you call Grace your home, here are some reasons why I think you should come:
1. You are a member of a body—if one member suffers, the whole body suffers… 1 Cor. 12:26 says that we are all members of one body and if one hurts the rest hurts. This flies in the face of our individualistic tendencies. It is easy to say – “I am busy and I really didn’t know Howie…” or “it really won’t make a difference if I come because no one will know who I am.” Instead, think it terms of the body – one member (Howie’s wife) is suffering and we are called to come together to minister to her. Here is an opportunity for you to feel the pain and joy of someone you are united together with and grow in love for people of the church.
2. You are part of a family and families serve one another even by their presence. In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul says the church is like a family or household. I don’t think my generation has this down very well, but we need to think this way. Families serve each other with their presence. Your being at the funeral has a great potential to impact far more than you could imagine. You may never know the impact that your being at the funeral may have on Howie’s family, others who are there to grieve, or even the pastor who will preach the Gospel to many unbelievers and needs your support.
3. Funerals are a unique means of grace for the soul as it makes you ponder the brevity of your own life. Ecclesiastes 7:2 and 4 say that it is better for our souls to go into the house of mourning than into the house of mirth or laughter. Funerals have a very sobering affect on a person. They remind you that life is very short and that we need to be ready (Psalm 90:12). It is very good for our spiritual life to be reminded of things of eternity and funerals are great reminders of eternity. Parents, this is a great teaching opportunity to your children.
4. You may have never attended a truly Christ-centered funeral. I know it is possible that some of you have never been to a truly edifying funeral before. Let me challenge you – come ready to be blessed by God’s gracious work. Thursday will be a true worship service. Will there be grief? Absolutely. But the grief will be accompanied by the glorious confidence in Jesus Christ and the saving power that He has lavished upon Howie and everyone who repents and trusts in Jesus for salvation. By God’s grace (please pray for me), the Gospel will be proclaimed and people will be invited to partake of the same joyous relationship of salvation as Howie enjoyed (and continues to enjoy).
I hope these thoughts are helpful to you as you ponder your involvement in the family of God at Grace Church.