Within the last two weeks, I attended two funerals. Both were for Christian women, and both were joyful celebrations of the life and eternal destination of the souls of both of these sweet ladies. However, there was one great difference between these funerals. One was attended by over 600 and the other by around 20.
While I would rather not get into the details as to why one was so large and the other so small, I was challenged to think about something that I would like to pass along to you.
You see...sometimes we judge the legacy of an individual by some of the strangest standards. For instance, in this case, both of these Christians ladies left a legacy that will live on beyond their years here on this earth. Both impacted lives and left a lasting impression; however, if we were to simply look at the number of people who attended their funerals, it would seem one left much more of an impression. Is that true though? It may be true; however, I was forced to consider that the impression left can not always be measured by how many people attend your funeral. Let me show you what I mean.
In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, we read of the death of Moses...and of the funeral of Moses. When Moses died in the land of Moab, the Bible records that God buried him and that no one knows where the grave is to this day (v. 6). What's telling about this is that if others had been present at the funeral of Moses they would know where the grave of such a great leader was. After all, when you think of some of the greatest leaders (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many others) of America, at least many of you know where their graves are and some have probably visited those special places. While Washington and Lincoln are considered great leaders in American history, they pale in comparison with the place Moses would have held in the eyes of Israelites generation after generation. If no one knew where his grave was, it would have to be because no one, other than God, was present at his funeral. Surely no one would argue this meant he didn't leave a very large legacy. If you have any doubt, just do a quick word search for "Moses" and see how many of the books of the Bible contain the name.
Two funerals with very different crowds. Two wonderful, Christian ladies who left lasting legacies.
Remember, it's not about how many people attend your funeral, but rather what impact did you make on those who attend your funeral. Legacy is not measured by mere attendance, but rather by the imprint one leaves on the lives of those who continue once you're gone.