Today, I attended my great-great-aunt's funeral. Most people think of funerals as being very sad occasions. However, I am not one of those people--when I know that person had trusted Jesus as their Savior. Therefore, the "ultimate oxymoron" I am talking about is "awesome funeral service."
First of all, between receiving friends and the funeral, all of the family gathered around to pray. As the pastor was praying, he referred to the funeral as a worship service. That, of course, made my day because I saw that somebody else also got the point of why we were gathered there today.
Second of all, when the pastor began his sermon, he said, "We are all gathered here today to celebrate." That, of course, made it even better. Most people probably think it's morbid to rejoice at a funeral. They think that a funeral should be a place of mourning. Most people expect you to be dressed in all black, tissues in hand. I just think that is so unfortunate.
A believer's funeral should be a place of rejoicing. It should be a huge going-home party. Because that is exactly what they're doing (or have done)--they're going home to be with the Lord. I say forget the tissues and dark clothing--let's have us a good ole time praising the Lord for the legacy that person left and the fact that one day we will see Him face to face as well.
I was probably the only one in that room that never stopped smiling. I've said several times that we ought not be sad when a believer goes to be with the Lord; if anything, they're sad that we still have to be here. Heaven just gets sweeter and sweeter everyday. I can't wait until I stand before my Savior, and all I can do is praise His name.
So, the next time you're at a funeral, think about what I said. Think about Heaven. And think about the Savior. You do that, and God will put a smile on your face too.