When you are surrounded with death and dying, you began to reflect on death and on how to go on living. King Solomon, whom the Bible declared as the wisest king who ever lived, is considered to have written the book of Ecclesiastes. In one of the chapters, the writer of this book of wisdom gave a reflection about death and mourning.
Let us learn from three verses in chapter 7 of Ecclesiastes:
First, death is our gateway to eternal life.
Verse 1 says, “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.”
Why would Solomon write this? Isn’t the day of birth better because it signals new life? According to him, the day of death is better because it will lead us into a much better life than we have here on earth. So, live a life with a good name so that your death will be celebrated with honor.
Second, death teaches the living how to live.
Verse 2 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.”
Solomon teaches us that those who are still alive should reflect on what they are doing with their lives. Visiting a house of mourning will jolt you into the reality that we will soon all die and we need to live a life according to God’s will.
Third, be wise and realize your mortality.
Verse 4 says, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.”
If you do not realize your mortality, then you are a fool. Let us learn from Solomon who learned it the hard way. In the middle of his reign, his heart was led astray. It was late in his life that he wrote Ecclesiastes and poured out his learnings. He wrote, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…”
Let us make our lives count!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications