Enjoying the Journey
Today a precious friend, a faithful preacher, a man of prayer went home to be with Jesus. He walked with God and, in the last few hours, like Enoch, “he was not, for God took him.” I imagine that at this moment he is rejoicing at the throne, and while I grieve for his loved ones, I rejoice for him.
With the social distancing in recent weeks we have all been worshipping at a distance from one another. (Thank God, we don’t have to be at a distance from the Lord!) It has caused me to consider that when Christians die they are immediately transported into the most amazing worship service. They are simply worshipping the same God in a different place.
Those who have gone on to Heaven are worshipping face to face and those of us who are left on earth are worshipping from faith to faith. In a very real sense, we are still worshipping together! Geography, time, and circumstance cannot keep us from the throne. It is the one place where we can all gather.
When Job’s children died the Scripture tells us that he worshipped (Job 1:20). He said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (v. 21). Those most precious to him on earth had entered the presence of God and he could as well.
Death for a believer is not an ending, but a beginning. In the wise words of the preacher, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof…” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). In the final revelation we are told, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
The memorial service for a follower of Christ should always become a worship service. Standing on the edge of eternity we gain a glimpse of the God who is greater than life and death. They worship there; we worship here – God’s people are still worshipping together! And soon there will be a family reunion at the Father’s house. In the words of Paul, “the whole family in heaven and earth” will assemble in the family room (Ephesians 3:15), and worship him forever.
During the separation of this global pandemic many people have had to go alone to a cemetery to bury a family member or friend. Though we cannot bring our loved ones back, we can draw near to the same throne they now behold. There are even some limitations on how many people can attend funerals at this time, but there is no limit to the number of people who can worship.
And so on this day I will remember the life of a man who knew what it meant to worship God, I will pray for his precious wife, and I will worship the same Lord he is worshipping at this moment. My friend and I are still worshipping together.