A Funeral Interupted

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know?    Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

She was beautiful in her little box.  I know it is a cliché to say that she just looked like a baby sleeping, but that is exactly how she looked.  I had not planned to spend part of my afternoon with the emotional roller coaster of helping with the funeral of a four month old baby girl, but that is exactly what I was asked to do.

Her name is Tania and she was born on May 12, 2015.  You did not read about her birth in the newspaper nor hear about it on Fox News or CNN, but she was born none-the-less.

She lived out her days in a transitional home for abandoned and orphaned children waiting for placement with a foster family.  Our connection with her was that we were asked to consider being her foster parents in August, but her multiple health problems and care needs made us realize we were not capable of giving her the care she really needed.  This past weekend she was examined by a neurologist and it was determined that her brain had not developed and she only had a functioning brain stem.

Today, September 21, 2015 Tania died.  You did not read about her death in the newspaper or hear about it on Fox News nor CNN, but she died none-the-less.

As I had my friend Jorge Garcia read the Isaiah 40 passage above to the staff members of the transitional home who had gathered to mourn and as I spoke a few words of God’s grace over little Tania’s body I was reminded of exactly what we were doing.

Over the bodies of the deceased we say that though we are committing the body to the ground, we are commending their spirit to Almighty God.  We are proclaiming that we are not entombing a lost soul into the ground.  Rather we are releasing eternal souls to the God who created them.  We are expressing our faith that Christ has set them free.

On the first Easter morning, the empty tomb in which Jesus was buried is a sign of the freedom that is in Christ Jesus.  It does not matter if anyone anywhere ever knew Tania was born.  It only matters that God knows.  Without God,  her life and anyone else’s life is meaningless.  Because of Jesus Christ her life is meaningful and beautiful and valuable and more eternal than the stars of the heaven.

What about you?  Where does your faith lie?  Is it at the bottom of a whole filled with dirt, or is it at the entrance of the empty tomb of Christ?

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  Amen, amen, and amen.

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