Last week I conducted a funeral. I haven’t done a lot of funerals. In fact, I can count the number I have officiated on one hand. It is amazing what you learn about a person after they are gone. I remember learning things about my grandfather after his passing that I hadn’t known before.
In putting together the message for the funeral, I heard another preacher reference this passage in Ecclesiastes 7:
1 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
A house of mourning is better because it gives us time to reflect. We think about the life of the one we lost, but we also have time to think about our own life. A sad face is good for the heart because we take some time to think about the life we are living and what really matters.
There is wisdom to be found in the house of mourning…we just need to take the time to listen.