"It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart." - Ecclesiastes 7:2
The day my wife and I were married, her great uncle was talking with me before the service. As a retired pastor, he was chosen to start the ceremony and I was expecting great words of wisdom about the joys and challenges of married life from Uncle George. But, as he started to reminisce, the impact of funerals became the topic of discussion. As years passed, I too found that hearts are far more open to eternal matters in sorrow than celebration.
Solomon had more frolicking and party time than most. The Queen of Sheba noted in 1 Kings 10:8... "Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!" The years of joy and great achievements were many and quite impressive. But in the end, with eternity in view, this Blessed King of abundance preferred the house of sorrow to the courts of celebration.
Think of it ... Weddings, graduations, and parties are all about the here and now. We rejoice in the moment. But, this life is short and then we enter "the rest of the story"... Eternity. Funerals serve us well if "the living lay it to heart". The Lord speaks sobering words to Israel in Amos 4:12... "prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” We can celebrate today, but eternity awaits... Are you prepared?