We have gone to two funerals of my husband’s co-workers in the last couple of months. One where God was welcomed with songs and prayers; where there was an assurance the deceased has a glorious new home in heaven. The other where God was neither wanted or even welcome: where he was not considered real.
I don’t know if you have ever been to the funeral of an atheist, but it is the most depressing thing I have ever witnessed. In our culture we have come to expect certain things from a funeral. Things like music, prayers, and scripture readings are the norm. None of that was found at the atheist’s funeral. With the exception of “taps” played at the flag folding ceremony for the flag draping the coffin performed by members of the army respecting his service as a medic in Viet Nam there was no music. There were no prayers, or the least mention of God. A few relatives spoke of his childhood. There was little of his life mentioned, because there was little of note. By excluding God it was almost a statement of a life un-lived.
Not believing in it there was no mention of an afterlife. No one there seemed to realize the soul lives forever it is just a matter of address. By not accepting Jesus he had chosen eternal death and torment.
The other funeral we attended was glorious. It started with the song “Victory Is Mine.” there were prayers, and an assurance she had come into the presence of the Lord. There were loving remembrances of a life well lived, and the importance of her love of the Lord to her.
One person even said that as she was dying she had said that she wanted, “A few more days to win souls to Jesus.” God gave her a week from that request. She went home with her work completed and I have no doubt that God welcomed her saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
She had every right to have the song sung, “It Is Well With My Soul.” It clearly was as she had gone home to a loving Father.