I've had the duty and privilege to officiate at a couple funeral services this year already. It is my conviction that funerals are really for those who loved the deceased. Funerals do not benefit the dearly departed, per se, but they can be helpful to those who attend as they remember their loved one, grieve with family and friends, and reflect upon their own existence. This period of reflection is good (Eccl. 7:2), especially when it leads the individual to reform his life.
Near the close of a funeral service, I typically read the following poem, entitled, "Have You Thought About Your Soul?" Although I do not know the author, I believe he or she did a masterful job.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what this life is all about?
Why you're here and where you're going, when your lease on time runs out?
Maybe you've been far too busy, trying hard to reach your goal;
Would you let me ask you kindly, have you thought about your soul?
You may reach the highest portals, and your dreams may all come true,
Wealth and fame may be your portion, and success may shine on you,
All your friends may sing your praises, not a care on you may roll;
What about the great tomorrow--have you thought about your soul?
Don't forget your days are numbered, though you may be ridin' high,
But like all of us poor mortals, someday you'll just up and die.
Your success and fame and glory, won't be worth the bell they toll;
Let me ask you just one question, "Have you thought about your soul?"
If you've never thought it over, spend a little time today,
There is nothing more important, that will ever come your way
Than the joy of sins forgiven, and to know you've been made whole,
In the name of Christ the Savior, have you thought about your soul?
Dear friends, have you thought about your soul? Are you ready to meet the Lord in judgment? Jesus said to His disciples on one occasion - "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to His works" (Matt. 16:24-27).