Thought for the Day – July 2013
A friend recently told me about the funeral of his best friend which he attended last year. It was at a Cathedral and was quite a big affair with the cathedral choir and hundreds of mourners. My friend was to give a eulogy and was rather worried that he would become upset and not be able to hold himself together enough to give the talk and do justice to his friend.
The time came for him to address the congregation and he began rather nervously to speak, holding onto the lectern for support. As he continued on he felt more and more confident and far from being upset he even spoke joyfully as he felt the Holy Spirit give him strength and courage. He told me that he felt he was cheering his friend on into the Lord’s safe keeping and wondered at the joy and happiness he felt on this day when others were sad.
Funerals are naturally a difficult time for everyone and in the Bible we are told that when his friend Lazarus died Jesus wept. He wept because he is a God of compassion. He wept at the distress and unhappiness he saw around him - and he still comes alongside us today to comfort us in our grief. But he can also enter into our every circumstance, change us and give us courage by his indwelling Spirit. These moments can feel like a true gift of grace and a welcome sign of God’s Kingdom.