In reflecting on the beautiful service this man's family put together in remberance of his life, one in which they spent the majority of the service talking about their memories of their father, grandfather, uncle, and friend who had transformed their lives by living like Christ before them, my reading of the beginning of Mark 13 took on a whole new light as I read it the following day.
Here are the scriptures I am talking about:
"Then as He went out of the temple, one of His discipes said to Him, 'Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'" Mark 13:1 - 2
Although the disciple who was talking to Jesus was focused on the physical beauty created by the hands of men, Jesus was instead pointing him to focus on the beauty of those things that would withstand beyond the time when all the things of man had been destroyed and what only would remain would be the things of God. Jesus knew the time had come to set in motion the destruction of the grave, the victory over sin, and also the opening of the entry into the kingdom of God. On these things He could only focus, and there was not a thing on the earth that could entice Him away from moving toward that end and dying for that single purpose.
Often times we look at the things around us and we become so focused on their limited beauty. We focus so intently on what we are just able to see and take in with our other senses,whether it be a great work of art, an inspired song, a captivating sunset, a relaxing vacation, or even just a short nature walk, that we forget these things are just snippets of what God has prepared for us in our eternal home. These things should not in essence make us long for them more, but rather more for eternity where things beyond what we can even imagine are being prepared for us by our Father - the home we have been granted access to because Jesus paid the price and died on the cross for the sin of man which before that time made us separate from God with no way to bridge the gap.
So, like the disciple talking to Jesus, we too can take in the beauty of what surrounds us each day, but we would be wise at the same time to think on Jesus' words and remember that some day everything around us will no longer be. It is up to us to build things that will last, kingdom things that God sets before us each day. And, just like the family at the funeral we attended, we will all some day as believers be able to not only glory in the perfection of heaven, but more so we will glory at the feet of the throne of the One who paid the ultimate price so that we could live in that land of perfection with Him for eternity.