I’m doing a funeral this morning, here in Monroe. I am also aware that, this afternoon in Florida, a memorial service will be given for Dr. James Kennedy, who just died. Kennedy was a well-known pastor who has influenced a lot of people. The funeral I’m doing today is for a woman named Ginger, who was not famous, but who was a follower of Jesus, and used to read the Bible to people who went to a certain bar and talk with them in the bar about God and Jesus.
Before Ginger died she once told her sisters – “When I die don’t cry for me, but cry for yourself because you’re still here on earth.” Before he died James Kennedy stood before thousands of people in his church and said:
“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.”
Both Ginger and James Kennedy said the same thing. Both had the same hope. And both now are in the same place, a place where people are no longer famous and idolized but where God, all his essential attributes shining before them, is worshiped in awe-filled wonder.
If you want to hear the audio of Kennedy’s message, go here, and be hopeful!