It's weird. Why does a ceremony seem to hang over our heads as if that's the thing that's going to bring closure? Why does it feel so important? so reverent? so necessary? Why does Ecclesiastes 7:2 say, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart."?
Burying people dates back to the days of Abraham in the Bible when Abraham lovingly bought the first piece of the land God promised to him and his descendants to bury is beloved Sarah. He buried her in a cave in the side of a mountain, and laid her to rest. God records many a burial in the Bible, so it must be important. He must know that it gives us something we need.
So as much as this past week has felt like the calm before the storm for me, as much as crawling out of bed this morning felt like a weight around my body and mind, I know today is needed.
It is good to mourn AND celebrate with the body of Christ. Other believers. Other people who loved Xander. It's kinda like the red blood cells of the body of Christ all merging together to cover the wound, clot together, stop the bleeding, and heal the wound. Of course this started a week ago with text messages, Facebook pictures and condolences, hugs, prayers, and shared tears. Today's services are kinda like taking the band-aid off, letting the wound breath and begin to harden, so healing can continue underneath the scab, and movement--albeit however stiff--can continue without pain.
And that's what will happen today. We will all get to breathe not just the air of shared sorrow, but more importantly the air of shared joy. Xander's joy. We will celebrate his life together. His sweet, joy-filled days here on earth. And we will sing with tears in our eyes knowing that he is experiencing a joy we can only hope to try and understand, but never fully will. All the joys of this life we wonder he's missing out on PALE in comparison to where he is today and what he's enjoying. And there's not one suffering we endure in this lifetime that will ever touch him now.
And when the fresh air of that realization washes over us, the body of Christ, we will feel the weight lift, the wound uncovered. We will feel a peace as we come together firm to support each other. Underneath in each of our hearts, the wound will still be tender, but healing will continue in time. But for today, as one unit breathing fresh air of a new life in God's Home, realizing that in Christ this is NOT the last time we will see him, praising our God for being good and claiming the truth that He will do right by His people. Together, we will begin to move forward from this day.
And because we clot together, when we move forward it will be with less pain. A little stiff maybe. A little tender underneath, but not as painful as the hole ripped open a week ago today. No. After today, Jesus will bind us all together in one hope, one joy, and one peace. Unity in Christ will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and we will have each other to remind each other that He holds us close that He is our Strength, our Help, our Refuge.
And when we lay Xander in the ground, we will be continuing the process of letting him go. Ceremonies are necessary to help us remember, to help us move on. How many piles of stones marked significant blessings and words from God in the Old Testament? How many ceremonies were meticulously described in the books of Moses to help people remember and continue their lives in covenant and celebration?
Today will be a good day. As much as we may dread all the emotion we are about to experience one more time, today will be a good day. We will see Jesus in Xander's life. We will see Jesus in each other. We will see Jesus in the music. We will see Jesus in his remembrance. We will see Jesus in the unity of our love for one another.
Today will be a good day people! Look around and don't miss it! Camp out and stay and watch! Today WE WILL SEE JESUS! If you're looking, even through bleary eyes and weary souls, you will see Him.
And today will be a good day.