Some people may blame the death of two family members a week a part on bad luck. Others may point to destiny or fate for this rare occurrence. Yet, for me as a participant in the burials of Dick and Barb Wagner (my wife’s mother), I saw this as an opportunity for family and faith. Pastor Shawk’s message at Barb’s funeral, the day before her burial, was entitled Faith and Family. As I listened to Carl reflect upon his father’s life (Richard’s son), family and faith appear to be the legacy of the Wagners.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. 2 For by [faith—[b]trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report, Hebrews 11:1-2.
Following the burials, those in attendance spent a few hours at one of Barb’s favorite restaurants. Meanwhile, conversations continued all afternoon long. Between golfing, playing disc golf and having leftovers in the hotel lobby, the deaths of Barb and Dick has brought everyone closer together than ever before. There is something about breaking bread together that sets an ideal environment for relationships to grow stronger. Perhaps, this explains Luke’s words in Acts 2:42 with fellowship as one of the core practices of the apostles.
By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible, Hebrews 12:3.
The author of Hebrews lays out how belief and faith work hand and hand. Part of faith is trusting that God is in control, Proverbs 3:5-6. Subsequently, when circumstances in life causes doubt to enter your mind, remember the victorious Christians of the past who are mentioned in the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11. Each one was challenged and tested, but as each matured, their faith stood tall. Yet, in times of death, families are needed to lift you up from sadness. May this blog inspire you to center your life around faith and family.
by Jay Mankus