"Funeral Readings" contains religious and non-religious funeral readings and readings for funerals. These are sometimes called funeral verses, funeral bible readings or bible verses for funerals. Last Word Eulogies is happy to offer free Readings. Just cut and paste.
Funeral readings are organized with a table of contents. Click on the title and your funeral reading will appear.
Non-Religious Funeral Readings
from The Rebecca Notebook
The old adage, Time heals all wounds, is only true if there is no suppuration within. To be bitter, to lament unceasingly, 'Why did this have to happen to him?' makes the wound fester; the mind, renewing the stab, causes the wound to bleed afresh. It is hard, very hard, not to be bitter in the early days, not to blame doctors, hospitals, drugs, that failed to cure. Harder still for the woman whose husband died not by illness but by accident, who was cut short in full vigour, in the prime of life, killed perhaps in a car crash returning home from work. The first instinct is to seek revenge upon the occupants of the other car, themselves unhurt, whose selfish excess of speed caused the disaster. Yet this is no answer to grief. All anger, all reproach, turns inwards upon itself. The infection spreads, pervading the mind and body.
I would say to those who mourn - and I can only speak from my own experience - look upon each day that comes as a challenge, as a test of courage. The pain will come in waves, some days worse than others, for no apparent reason. Accept the pain. Do not suppress it. Never attempt to hide grief from yourself. Little by little, just as the deaf, the blind, the handicapped develop with time an extra sense to balance disability, so the bereaved, the widowed, will find new strength, new vision, born of the very pain and loneliness which seem, at first, impossible to master. I address myself more especially to the middle-aged who, like myself, look back to over thirty years or more of married life and find it hardest to adapt. The young must, of their very nature, heal sooner than ourselves.
I will not insult you by trying to tell you that one day you will forget. I know as well as you that you will not. But, at least, in time you will not remember as fiercely as you do now - and I pray that time may be soon.
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name; speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we have always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect without the trace of a shadow on it, Life means all that it ever meant. It was the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.
Out of Solitude
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief or bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
excerpt from Julius Caesar
Cowards die many times before their death;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.
Excerpt from a Letter on the Death of John Keats
Tell him that we shall all bear his memory in the most precious part of our hearts, and that the world shall bow their heads to it, as our loves do. Tell him that the most skeptical of us has faith enough in the high things that nature puts into our heads, to think that all who are of one accord in mind and heart, are journeying to one and the same place, and shall unite somehow or other again face to face, mutually conscious, mutually delighted. Tell him he is only before us on the road, as he was in everything else, and that we are coming after him.
When you come to the edge of all that you have known, there will be two possibilities awaiting you: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.
excerpt from The Book of Margins
It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death...To approach this Silence, it is necessary to journey into the desert. You do not go into the desert to find identity but to lose it, to lose your personality, to become anonymous. You make yourself voiceless. You become silence. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak.
excerpt from Romeo and Juliet
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And we will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.?
And every tongue that
But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.
excerpt from The Dead
Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived itself, was dissolving and dwindling.
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and father westward softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill... His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
Dry Your Tears
You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she's left,
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her or you can be full of the love you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday,
You can remember her and only that she's gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Non-religious Funeral Readings for a Child/Baby
Suffering - no matter how multiplied - is always individual. "Pain is the most individualizing thing on the earth," wrote Edith Hamilton.
It is true that it is the great common bond as well, but that realization comes only when it is over. To suffer is to be alone. To watch another suffer is to know the barrier that shuts each of us away by himself. Only individuals can suffer.
Suffering is certainly individual, but at the same time it is a universal experience. There are even certain familiar stages in suffering, and familiar, if not identical, steps in coming to terms with it, as in the healing of illness or in coming to terms with death itself. To see these steps in another's life can be illuminating and perhaps even helpful.
What I am saying is not simply the old Puritan truism that "suffering teaches." If suffering alone taught, the entire world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to be vulnerable. All these and other factors combined, if the circumstances are right, can teach and can lead to rebirth.
But there is no simple formula, or swift way out, no comfort or easy acceptance of suffering. "There is no question," as Katherine Mansfield wrote, "of getting beyond it" - "The little boat enters the dark fearful gulf and our only cry is to escape - 'put me on land again.' But it's useless. Nobody listens. The shadowy figure rows on. One ought to sit still and uncover one's eyes."
...Courage is a first step, but simply to bear the blow bravely is not enough. Stoicism is courageous, but it is only a halfway house on the long road. It is a shield, permissible for a short time only. In the end, one has to discard shields and remain open and vulnerable. Otherwise, scar tissue will seal off the wound and no growth will follow. To grow, to be reborn, one must remain vulnerable - open to love but also hideously open to the possibility of more suffering.
Dream that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby. I think about the little thing all day. Not in good spirits.
We cannot judge a biography by its length,
Nor by the number of pages in it.
We must Judge it by the richness of its contents
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant.
We cannot judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes
We must Judge it by the way it touches and lifts our souls
Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful.
And when something has enriched your life
And when it's melody lingers on in your heart
Is it unfinished?
Or is it endless?
A Special Place (for a baby)
There is a special place in the heart of God and amongst the angels for the little ones of this world, just as
there is a special place in our hearts today for - - - - - .
And so we weep at what has happened.
And so too - God weeps with us.
What can be said that might ease the pain or assuage the grief that you - and all of us feel today?
There isn't much we can say that will help.
We can express our sympathy and sorrow.
We can offer words of love, care and concern.
We can say we will pray for you.
But other than that we don't know what to say about these things.
My little man, down what centuries of light did you travel to reach us here, your stay so short-lived;
In the twinkling of an eye you were moving on, bearing our name and a splinter of the human cross we suffer; flashed upon us like a beacon, we wait in darkness for that light to come round, knowing at heart you shine forever for us.
Water Bugs and Dragonflies
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond.
They did not notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
'Look!' said one of the water bugs to another. 'One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?' Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return.
'That's funny!' said one water bug to another. 'Wasn't she happy here?' asked a second water bug. 'Where do you suppose she went?' wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.
Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. 'I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.'
'We promise', they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water.
He had become a dragonfly.
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.
By and by, the new dragonfly lighted happily on the lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before.
Then the dragonfly remembered the promise: 'The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.'
Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water.
'I can't return!' he said in dismay. 'At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what happened to me, and where I went.'
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.
From Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins had gone. Jane read the note she had left. 'Mrs Brill!' she called. 'What does "Au Revoir" mean?' 'I think, Miss Jane dear, it means "To meet again".' Jane and Michael looked at each other. Joy and understanding shone in their eyes. They knew what Mary Poppins meant.
Michael gave a long sigh of relief. 'That's all right,' he said shakily. 'She always does what she says she will.'
He turned away.
'Michael, are you crying?' Jane asked.
He twisted his head and tried to smile at her.
'No I'm not,' he said 'it is only my eyes.'
Bradley and his family lived in a beautiful house that had big tall trees all around.
Bradley was getting ready for a trip. He didn't know where he was going but he knew that he was going to ride with his friend Thomas the Train.
Now Thomas, in his life, had taken people from all over to different places. He always got them to where they needed to go safe and sound.
Once on the train, Thomas took care of everything. There were bears on the train to help Thomas to do his job. Some bears looked after other bears; some bears played with other bears.
Bears were of every age and came from all over the world. No one was ever sick on the train; even those bears who were sick before weren't sick anymore. Every type of food--good stuff and junk stuff--was available twenty-four hours a day.
There were special things on Thomas for little bears -- lots of toys and a big playground like Disneyland. Little bears always got special treatment on Thomas because sometimes they travel alone. Thomas and the bears on the train that helped Thomas kept a special eye on little bears so that they were never lonely.
Soon Bradley was ready to go to the train station where Thomas was meeting him. Bradley's family took Bradley to the train station. They were sad and worried because he was such a little bear to be traveling on his own. But they knew and trusted Thomas because Thomas had been doing this job for a long time. They knew Thomas would take good care of Bradley and make sure he arrived safely to meet his family at the next train station.
Bradley hugged his family a temporary good-bye because Thomas promised to get Bradley to the next station where his family would meet him.
It was still very very hard to say good-bye because Bradley wanted his family to come and they wanted to come with Bradley. But this was a trip that Bradley had to take by himself and his family had lots of other things to do before they met Bradley at the next station.
Bradley and his family promised to think about each other often and to remember all the special memories and times they had together. Thomas promised the family that he would take extra good care of Bradley, just as Bradley's family promised Thomas that they would take good care of each other.
Lots of friends and family were there to wave Bradley off and the family and friends also promised to take good care of each other and Bradley's family.
As they cried and waved at Bradley on Thomas, they saw a rainbow. Someone said, a long time ago, that a rainbow is a promise waiting to happen and that a rainbow will always be over little Bradley until he sees his family at the next station and then they would travel the rest of the journey together forever.
If I Were Here What Would I Say?
Yes it is true that I never got to see all that this world holds.
The flowers, the trees, grass - or a bright sunny day.
Not even the smiling faces of my loving family.
But in my heart I have seen all of these things, even in my short time.
It is also true that I never got to feel the many things that you take for granted ...
The heat on my face on a hot summer's day,
Finger paints and crayons I will never hold in my hands.
But I did feel the loving arms of my Mummy and Daddy cradling me gently.
I never got to hear all the sounds that make most hearts sing,
The laughter of a loved one, or the sweet song of a bird,
Songs on the radio and the words "I love you" are to me a mystery.
But the soft touch of my Mummy and Daddy's hands shouts to me all of this and more.
I will never know the joy of running through a field of flowers,
Never will I roll down the side of a hill, too dizzy to stand.
Hide and seek, tag and catching ball I will have missed,
But in my mind I will do all of these things and more.
You all may see it as me missing out on all these things by leaving you so soon,
But where I am going I will do, see and hear everything you do and more.
I will only think of good things - for in my short existence that is all I have known.
So don't cry for me, I will do all that you have wished for me and more.
One thing I want you to hold on to is that I have not known how to hate, how to feel jealous, or anguish or any of those emotions that can eat away at your soul.
My soul is set free with only one feeling - for in my short time here with you I only knew love.
And that is what I take with me now.
Non-Religious Funeral Readings for an Unexpected Death
Human existence is girt round with mystery: the narrow region of our experience is a small island in the midst of a boundless sea. To add to the mystery, the domain of our earthly existence is not only an island of infinite space, but also in infinite time. The past and the future are alike shrouded from us: we neither know the origin of anything which is, nor its final destination.
Have courage for the great sorrows in life, and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
excerpt from The Healing of Sorrow
Our friend died at his own battlefield. He was killed in action fighting a civil war. He fought against adversities that were as real to him as his casket is real to us. They were powerful adversaries. They took toll of his energies and endurance. They exhausted the last vestiges of his courage and his strength. At last these adversaries overwhelmed him. And it appeared that he had lost the war. But did he? I see a host of victories that he has won!
"For one thing - he has won our admiration - because even if he lost the war, we give him credit for his bravery on the battlefield. And we give him credit for the courage and pride and hope that he used as his weapons as long as he could. We shall remember not his death, but his daily victories gained through his kindness and thoughtfulness, through his love for his family and friends... for all things beautiful, lovely and honorable. We shall remember not his last day of defeat, but we shall remember the many days that he was victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years that he had. Only God knows what this child of His suffered in the silent skirmishes that took place in his soul. But our consolation is that God does know, and understands.
excerpt from Jack Ford's funeral reading
The death of each of us is in the order of things. It follows life as surely as night follows day. We can take the tree of life as a symbol: The human race is the trunk and the branches of this tree, and individual men and women are the leaves, which appear one season, flourish for a summer, and then die. We too are like the leaves of this tree and one day we shall be torn off by a storm, or simply decay and fall, and mingle with the earth at its roots. But, while we live we are conscious of the tree's flowing sap and steadfast strength.
Religious or Spiritual Funeral Readings:
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only. This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?" The Lord replied, "The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you."
excerpt from The Mysterious Tao
The six cardinal points, reaching into infinity, are ever included in Tao. An autumn spikelet, in all its minuteness, must carry Tao within itself. There is nothing on earth which does not rise and fall, but it never perishes altogether. The Yin and the Yang, and the four seasons, keep to their proper order. Apparently destroyed, yet really existing; the material gone, the immaterial left ?such is the law of creation, which passeth all understanding. This is called the root, whence a glimpse may be obtained of God.
General Funeral Readings - Christian Bible:
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own
Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge
against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised,
who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will
hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From 1 Corinthians 15
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe. Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ--whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.
For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this
perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written
will be fulfilled:
"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is your victory?"
"Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.
1 Thessalonians 4.13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea
was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
Thus says the Lord:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.
Thus says the Lord:
Refrain your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tears;
For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord,
And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There is hope in your future, says the Lord,
That your children shall come back to their own border.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying,
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you,
That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Apocalypse 7.9-10, 15-17
After this I looked and there was an enormous crowd - no one could count all the people.
They were from every race, tribe, nation and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
That is why they stand before God's throne and serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will protect them with his presence. Never again will they hunger or thirst; neither sun nor any scorching heat will burn them, because the Lamb, who is in the centre of the throne, will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to the springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
2 Corinthians 4.13-18
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke,"
we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus,
and will present us with you.
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Then said I:
Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.
But the Lord said to me:
Do not say, 'I am a youth,'
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
Song of Solomon 2.10-13
My beloved spoke, and said to me:
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away
2 Samuel 12.16-23
David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground.
But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, "Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!"
When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?"
And they said, "He is dead."
So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
Then his servants said to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food."
And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'
But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."
In the most beautiful of gardens, even those tended by the most skilful of botanists, there is an occasional rose
that buds, but never opens. In all respects the rose is like all the others, but something keeps it from blooming.
It fades away - or disappears - without having reached maturity.
What happens in nature's garden happens once in a while also in the garden of God's human family. A baby is born, beautiful, precious, but fails to come to its rightful unfolding. This child, like the bud that never fully opens, is gathered back into God's heavenly garden of souls - where all imperfections are made perfect; all injustices made right; all mysteries are explained; and all sorrows turned to happiness.