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Categories: From Alex and Sarah
I hate funerals. I’ve always hated funerals.
I hate seeing people grieving. I hate that feeling of powerlessness to alleviate the pain. I hate the feeling that death has somehow won – when I know that death has no victory.
I type these words the day after returning from the funeral of Kris Guglielmucci. Sarah and I travelled to Adelaide on Tuesday to support the family and let them know that we, as a church, love them and hurt with them right now. We went down to celebrate a life that was cut short by lightning but not cobbled in its impact.
Many beautiful words were spoken and many great tributes given. Kris’ life was a message in itself to anyone who knew him.
But what impacted me most was how close; how imminent, eternity really is. One moment Kris was alive and the next he was gone. Nobody saw it coming.
The family talked about the way Kris loved people; how he loved and trusted God. They spoke of his unyielding dedication to serving the purposes of God and building His church. Through it all, bringing into sharp contrast the enormity of eternity and the passing nature of so much that we engage in here on earth.
In our Christian life we get so consumed with things that won’t matter in eternity. We get consumed by our material possessions and our comfort. We focus on the slights, perceived or real, that we feel from people around us. We get caught up in theological arguments that reflect the need to be right far more than the love of God. We get bound by our insecurities and fears.
But as I sat in that auditorium with Kris’ coffin at the front, all of those things, and the myriad other things I get worried about, seemed to pale in the face of eternity. The litany of things I concern myself with seemed as wood, hay and stubble that would burn up and pass away.
It left me ruminating over the questions I would often ask as a young person: Will my life count for the Kingdom, because it’s only the Kingdom that counts. What am I spending my time, energy, money, efforts and emotion on? And will that last into eternity or be burned up as wood, hay and stubble?
Am I seeking my own comfort or to serve and love others with the love God has put in my life?
In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul talks about the pre-eminence of love in chapter 13. Not just receiving it, but giving it away to others. He tells us that there will come a day when we will see God just as He is. We will know Him as intimately and completely as He knows us. And then Paul concludes that thought in verse 13 of chapter 13:
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Can I challenge you today, as I have been challenged. What are you doing today to focus on giving God’s love away extravagantly? What are the things you’re doing that aren’t of love and will have no impact on eternity? Let’s put first things first and seek after His kingdom above all else.
We love you church and can’t wait to see you on Sunday