The story as told by the writer of Genesis is an example of a situation that everyone who has ever lived faces along with Abraham. A member of the family has died and there is no place to bury them. So we have been given a problem of life that we all face from time to time. Even the Lord’s servant, Abraham.
This certainly is not given to us because we are to feel sorry for Abraham, even if he is himself mourning. We read that Sarah died in Hebron, in the land of Canaan. She died a natural death after a long life, but because her husband Abraham was a servant of the Lord God, he did not own a burial plot. Abraham wept and mourned her death, but he had no place to bury her and his family.
It isn’t spelled out but Abraham’s family had no place to call home, but wherever the Lord sent him, he and his family went, to serve the Lord God. But life does have its moments when even the servant of the Lord had to do some unhappy business of life. Not only is this true for Abraham and Sarah, but also for every one of us.
This experience we have read in Genesis reminded me of the many funerals I have ministered to as God servant. What words can be said to give comfort to the grieved. I search for words that will reach into the hearts of those who weep. I have used this poem to help; it is entitled…
“A Traveler Coming Home”
A traveler ventured forth one day
upon a long and winding road
with faith and trust to lead the way.
with strength and will to bare his load.
And at a slow but steady pace
in cold of storm, in warmth of sun
he journeyed on from place to place
and gained some value from each one.
Until at last one quiet night,
he climbed a hill’s soft-rounding crest,
and saw afar a single light
that seemed to promise peace and rest.
And following its glow, he came
upon the house in which it shown.
A voice inside called out his name
and told him he was truly home.
Now all of us must travel ,too.
Like his, our paths wind slowly on
and surely when the course is through
a welcome comfort waits beyond.
May we believe that sweet content
is earned by all those miles passed
and never doubt each traveler’s meant
to reach a loving home at last.
Heavenly Father, if we did not believe in a life to come we would not be able to find the comfort we all need as a life comes to an end. In Christ we pray. Amen.