Today, we gathered at church to celebrate the life of a sister in the faith. It was not morose — it was joyous, because Christ’s work on the Cross was enough for her, and for all of us. So, we rejoice.
In these moments, it is my prayer that we cling to hope and joy and peace, all of which are additional gifts given to us by Christ our King.
It is often repeated at Christian funerals that someone ran the race well and kept the faith. We say it, we smile, we move on. It is, at times, perhaps a disposable phrase.
But to think about what that entails is a different ballgame, because that life is not easy. Running this race is not for the faint at heart — it’s not for the comfortable.
As C.S. Lewis put it:
I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.
So then, it does matter how we spend our time and if we study. It does matter if, over the course of our lives, we have run the race well. It does matter if we pushed ourselves into uncomfortable places — as God often will as part of sanctifying us. But that work is not lost, it is not worthless.
Paul confirms this, in Philippians 1:3-6:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
So, today we celebrated a saint triumphant. To God the glory and praise.