Celebrate a Saint By Presenting Salvation
Oh, I know we don’t go around calling people Saint So-and-So, but surely there’s been a saint in your life.
Merriam-Webster defines saint as a person who is officially recognized by the Christian church as being very holy because of the way he or she lived OR a person who is very good, kind, or patient.
I’m talking about those who meet the first definition. I’ve had the privilege of knowing many saints. My life has been impacted greatly by those who have lived their lives as a living sacrifice.
I’ve also gone to the funerals of a few saints.
Now, I know funerals aren’t something that people like to talk about, and they aren’t necessarily super exciting content, but don’t you think a saints funeral should be something to talk about?
I attended the funeral of a man who was a walking testimony to everyone met. He wasn’t a preacher. As far as I’m aware he wasn’t in any top of the chain leadership positions anywhere.
Ok, so maybe he wasn’t called to preach and he never filled a pulpit, but the man was a preacher. He oozed Jesus. You couldn’t stand by him, talk to him, or even hear about him from someone else without getting a little Jesus on you.
I actually wasn’t close to this individual, but somehow just a time when I was really struggling in my walk and my ministry, there he was. With a word of encouragement. With a promise of prayer. With words that brought me hope.
For various reasons, especially the one right above, I attended this saint’s funeral. As odd as it might sound, I anticipated the funeral. I was excited about it and expected something amazing to come from it.
Wonderful things were said about the saints life. A prayer was said. Worship songs sang. And as expected the sanctuary was filled.
Something was missing, though. Salvation was never presented. Hope wasn’t offered in a way that those in attendance could reach out and accept the same assurance this saint had.
I left that sanctuary feeling sick to my stomach. So many people that could have found salvation that day, that might not ever sit inside a church again, that could have been reached because of the life this saint lived, and we just let them walk away.
I often tell my family that when I die there better not be any sad, depressing music played at my visitation or funeral. I’m ok with being cremated or buried either one. I know where I’m going, and it doesn’t matter to me what you do with my remains.
But what does matter to me is that if people gather to remember me, crank up music, raise your hands in worship, and whatever you do, don’t let anyone leave until someone, anyone, everyone has preached Jesus as Savior and the only way to eternal life.