There is a funeral service this morning for a woman in the community. It will be an absolutely beautiful time. Beauty is usually not the way we describe a funeral, and there will certainly will be tears because of the separation. But this woman, in her mid 80s, was a life long Christian, lived her whole life in the same community, and was a member of the same congregation for all her years. The family and friends will gather around her casket at the church, there will be a service of worship, songs of praise to our gracious Lord, and a message of hope and assurance of life. The family and congregation will then follow in procession behind the casket to the cemetery across the street where she will be laid to rest among all of her relatives and friends who have gone before her. In our fast moving and mobile society, most of our funerals are not this way, but the hope, the assurance of life, and the worship of our gracious God for the life of a Christian are invariable. There are always tears, and rightly so, but those tears come with the deepest sense of joy and gratitude for God’s assurance of life eternal.