Sunday, August 9, 2009

We Have a Hope!

Today I did what I did not want to experience: I preached the funeral of a man, 70 years young, not only my worship leader at church but also a dear friend. The sickness that God used providentially to take him to Glory lasted only two weeks.

While this is a hard time for me, his family and our church we do "not grieve as others do who have no hope." [1 Thess 4.13b] No, because Dave was a Christian believer it was a joyous occasion as we celebrated his homegoing. In the words of William Schell:
Have we any hope within us of a life beyond the grave
In the fair and vernal lands?
Do we know that, when our earthly house by death shall be dissolved,
We’ve a house not made with hands?

Blessed hope we have within us is an anchor to the soul,
It is both steadfast and sure;
It is founded on the promises of Father’s written word,
And ‘twill evermore endure.

Since we’ve walked the straight and narrow way,
our path has ever shone Brighter, brighter day by day;
Hope within our hearts assures us it is better farther on,
It is brighter all the way.

Life will end in joyful singing, “I have fought a faithful fight.”
Then we’ll lay our armor down;
And our spirits, freed from earthly ties, shall take their happy flight,
To possess a starry crown.

We have a hope within our souls,
Brighter than the perfect day;
God has given us His Spirit, and we want the world to hear it;
All our doubts are passed away.
In Christ we do have that hope. That's why the congregation could mingle laughter with tears.

No money can buy this hope but, thanks be to God, it's free.