Mourning or Partying?

Categories: Pastor Alan's Blog

It is almost 4:00 a.m. Mom has fought for every breath for the last 24 hours. It has been tough to watch. There is a scripture that I have struggled with for years and it is coming to life right now.

“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.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 NIV)

Really? This verse has alluded me for a long time but I think I’m getting it. My family has lived in a house of mourning for the last six days. These are the reasons I would agree with the writer of Ecclesiastes.

1. Our house is focused on eternal issues right now and we have perspective. I had a huge car bill this week but I didn’t dwell on it. When my mind started worrying about the cost my heart put it all into perspective. At the end of life there is very little talk about the mundane matters of living on planet Earth. Memories and relationships matter.
2. Unlike a house party we are experiencing the joy of deep and life long friendships. Friends have come into our suffering and voluntarily joined our pain and sorrow. One friend just left around midnight and another is coming at 6:00 a.m. I wouldn’t trade these deep abiding friendships for the superficial relationships of my partying days.
3. There are no masks in a house of mourning. We gather around mom’s bed and our true selves are exposed. There are no hidden agendas or corporate ladders. There’s just a mom struggling to live surrounded by her family and friends.

I would love to hear your views. Why is a house of mourning better than a house of feasting?

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3 Responses to "Mourning or Partying?"

  1. Joanie Walker Posted on July 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I thought of the verse found in Philippians 3:10. I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

    The fellowship that takes place during times of suffering goes deep into our souls and all that participate in it, remember it for their lifetime.

  2. Rob L Posted on July 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    I believe it is because you know the true feelings of the people in the house. No one can really hide what may be going on within themselves.

  3. Carla Golden Posted on July 4, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    I remember some precious times with family while experiencing my mother’s illness. I have beautiful memories of the praises being lifted to God by my sister Sue as she was going to be with the Lord and precious times with Daddy as he lay dying of singing and prayers. I think in the house of mourning you are feeling so close to God and that total dependence upon Him. While going through those times its hard to see, but when looking back you definitely see God’s orchestrating it all. May you feel His arms around you as you go through these coming days. Your mother is in the same arms of God tonight. God bless you and yours.

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