When someone passes away, the closest family and friends are faced with a new chapter of life that includes grief and reflection. If you are attending your first funeral, it will not likely be the last one. 

I have been to approximately 100 funerals in my lifetime. Funerals are a time of remembrance, learning new things and honouring the best in people. Following a death there is an abrupt time of adjustment that includes emptying closets, closing accounts and ensuring that the good of the survivors is considered.

Sometimes, families undergo incredible stress in matters related to inheritance. If the person was very wealthy or penniless, someone may have sentimental attachment to some of the stuff. From the Mercedes-Benz in the garage to the fridge magnets, everything a person owns will one day be disposed of or given to another.

I remember one woman who left nothing for her step-children and gave her money to charity. Some of the adult children felt hurt by the woman they had grown to call mother. I have seen others who are shocked when they discover that a rich relative did not include them in their estate planning. Brothers and sisters sometimes fight over what they feel entitled to. It seems that many want to be treated equally when it comes to what they are getting.

If your parent were a billionaire, would the memory of a loving relationship not be worth more than all the money and possessions they would leave behind? Riches bring a false sense of security; unlike the security of knowing you were loved and respected by the one who passed. Still, people are tempted by the potential of gain.

Jesus had this to say about worldly gain—

Mark 8:
36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 

A good funeral is one where the departed left their soul behind. If they were ‘a good soul’ their impact on others will be lasting and profound. How are things with your soul? Are you living a life built on gaining everything you can get from the world? Have you forfeited your soul in the process?

Followers of Jesus do not count gain on this side of the grave. A few may possess wealth, power and prestige but it is secondary to the eternal possession. The Christ follower stores their legacy in eternity.

Romans 8:
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 

Your Heavenly Father has an inheritance to share with the sons and daughters. Jesus came to make the way for us to enter God’s eternal family. God’s Spirit is at work to convince you of your place at the family table.