Better to Go to the House of Mourning

“It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.”
Ecclesiastes 7:2

Who would actually choose a funeral over a feast? Who would choose to remember loss instead of forgetting about it or ignoring it?

The Bible clearly teaches that this life is short. Life is a breath (Job 7:7). Life passes like a shadow (Ecclesiastes 6:12). Life fades like flowers in a field (Isaiah 40:6-8).  Life is a vapor, a mist (James 4:14). Therefore, it is an act of foolishness to surround myself with delights such that I forget or ignore the reality that my life (and those around me) will come to an end. Far better to let the horrible loss of loved-ones to impact me and cause me to think about eternity.

Yesterday Cassidy and I watched via live-stream as our church back home remembered the life of yet another friend and sibling in Christ. Yesterday we looked back on the life of Theresa Caruso. Throughout the memorial service, Theresa’s love of Jesus and others was highlighted again and again and again. The rock-solid hope of the Gospel was proclaimed as a ballast in the lives of so many during this turbulent and stormy season of cancer, pain, and death.

Far from being discouraged or depressed by the funerals we’ve watched this year, we have been greatly encouraged and spurred on by the lives of Jon Kempiak, Matt Dodd, and Theresa Caruso.

In the hopes that the same might be true for you, I have included the three memorial services below. They are a bit lengthy considering our world of soundbites and tweets, but way better to watch the joy and mourning that takes place in these memorials than to spend that time watching Hollywood’s latest blockbusters. The later tends to dull the senses and distract from ultimate truth while the former will hopefully serve as a reminder that we will all die and face our maker.

Come to the house of mourning. Come and remember the fleetingness of life. Come and hear that there is hope and fullness of joy even in death for those who know and love the glory of Jesus Christ.

Jon Kempiak


Matt Dodd


Theresa Caruso

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