... the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6b-8
There are a number of differences between men and women.
One of the biggest differences is how we say goodbye. Men bid farewell to their friends by saying, "Goodbye." If we are in an especially talkative mood, we say, "Goodbye. See you soon." Then, having completed the niceties, we get in our car and drive away.
In contrast to that which is simple and straightforward, women manage to stretch out their departures by discovering one, five, ten, or more topics which they simply have to cover at length before they are ready to turn and actually go.
Apparently, the aging population of Japan is also having a difficult time saying, "Aufwiedersehen."
To provide some assistance to people's final farewells there is a new service in that country called Yahoo Ending. For about $1.80 a month, subscribers can plan their funeral, write their obituary, and provide a spot where those who ought to be mourning their passing can write an emotional and heartfelt tribute.
And if you have always wanted to get in a last word with some family members, friends, or even a few enemies, Yahoo Ending will allow you to do that too.
After you are gone, Yahoo Ending will send out e-mails that will extend your compliments, encouragements or insults to anybody you want. The wonderful thing about these posthumous posts is that you, being dead, don't have to read their replies.
The idea of saying things you've neglected or were afraid to share when you were alive sounds kind of intriguing. I'm sure it won't take too long before such a service will be offered in North America.
You know, there is one message I think every Christian ought to be sending to those who are left behind. We, like St. Paul, ought to let everyone know that death, along with our departure from this world, is not a frightening thing.
We will be making their burdens lighter if they know that we, having finished our race, have now been given a crown of righteousness in the Church Triumphant. Because of our faith in the Savior who lived, died and rose so we might be forgiven, believers are confident that heaven is the final home for all who have been loved by the Lord Jesus and the salvation He has won for us.
Of course, there are those who rightly maintain our families and friends shouldn't have to wait until we're deceased to find out about our faith. Indeed, all we do and say ought to bear witness to the fact that we are saved because Jesus Christ is our Lord and personal Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because of Jesus' work, I am ready to leave this world. Before that time may I show my appreciation by my worship and witness to Your great gift of grace which says, "Heaven is my home." In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries