From the Stack

What’s the real message found in ‘celebrations’ of life?

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Pastor Jason Allen penned an interesting editorial titled “Should we trade in funerals for ‘Celebrations of life?’

As a pastor, he is frequently called by families of people who died to deliver services that are upbeat and lighthearted.

He notes these celebrations are nothing more than “post-mortem roasts for non-celebrities. Friends stand up and make jokes about the departed as a way of showing them honor.”

However, he says that Christians should not abandon the notion of funerals for their ability to force people to “consider soberly what happens after the finality of death.”

“We shouldn’t aim for “upbeat and lighthearted” when the deep emotional well of Christian hope is available to us,” he wrote.

“We shouldn’t spend so much time on jokes that we give short shrift to Jesus Christ who, having defeated sin and death, has made a way for the wicked to be forgiven and made righteous,” Allen wrote.

He’s right.

In my own experience, I found that people who rejected God and did not accept the free gifts of faith and forgiveness offered by Christ are often those who desired “celebrations of life” upon their death.

And that is tragic because their happiest day on earth was the best day of their life since they now face an eternity of darkness.

That is nothing to celebrate.

I would much rather attend the funeral of a Christian knowing that I will see that person again soon, than I would attend a “celebration of life” for someone who will spend eternity separated from the hope, love, happiness, grace, peace and abundance offered by Christ.

I know my worst day on earth won’t hold a candle to the joy I will experience every day in the paradise of heaven.

All of us are destined to live an eternal life. The question remains, but where?

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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