As we have chosen to follow Christ we have accepted the testimony and witness of those who have gone before us. We live in the belief that the truth has been told from the very first. We have hope as we face death. We have been asked to encourage one another with our belief and with our hope.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 18 TNIV
My family shared this reading as we gathered to bury our sister. We believe the truth of these words. I believe the truth of these words. We have continued to encourage each other with these words. Today I share them with you who have encountered the death of a loved one; I encourage you to believe and hope.