This past weekend I had the opportunity to be with my family as we paid our final respects to my grandparents. The morning was filled with emotion from so many. There were tears shed, memories exchanged and reunions made. I was asked to provide the message, not eulogy or time of memory but the actual funeral message for my grandparents. It was my honor to be able to do this. However, my words likely weren’t what many expected and that’s honestly ok.
You see in my mind, my role as a pastor at a time of a funeral or Christian burial is to remind those gathered (and in this case remind myself) that our final focus in this service needs to be Jesus. Memories of our loved ones will only take us so far. We’ll be torn with happiness and sadness. We’ll remember the fun times but also wallow in the sorrows of the pains they suffered in their final days or the tragedy of losing them. But when our focus is on the one who beat the day, who changed the outcome of that moment before we even arrived there, our whole focus shifts to something transcendent and beyond ourselves.
A song that I’ve listened to recently is by a group that has always been one of my favorites. The group Casting Crowns, for me at least, has been a powerful truth talking group that often gives us a message that might be hard to hear but is very much needed in the moment. And this song is no different.
As we focus on our loved ones at their funeral services, this song reminds us that we have grown vastly shortsighted. If we focus on the accident, the cancer, the pain, the alzheimer’s, the crippling effects of any illness that claimed our loved ones’ lives, then we are left holding onto scars that don’t really matter anymore. Today we listen to a song Scars in Heaven.
The only scars that we’ll find in heaven. They’re not the ones found on you or me. These scars are from the one that died on that forbidden tree. I pray these words give you comfort and hope in whatever you’re facing today.