We mourn with Her Majesty the Queen the death of Prince Philip. Today’s newspapers (Saturday) have front page headlines using the above, or similar words. How the Queen must be feeling the loss of her husband after 73 years marriage.
The word ‘Farewell’ is used to express good wishes on parting and is more formal than ‘Goodbye’. ‘Farewell’ usually implies that we may not see the person again and expresses our hope that all will ‘go well’ for the person in future. The wonderful confidence we have as Christians is that all who truly believe in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ pass into His loving, glorious presence when they die, and their resurrected bodies will rise again to be joined eternally to their spirits when Jesus returns (read for example 1 Thessalonians 4v13-18). So for the Christian the word ‘Farewell’ is not some good luck message or a hope for the best.
However, think also for a moment about that lovely expression “my beloved”. God the Father, of course, used such wording when Jesus was baptised: “This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3v17). But I also noticed this wonderful blessing on Benjamin in Genesis 33v12: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders”. You may be aware that the name Benjamin means ‘son of my right hand’. In a unique way this blessing, therefore, may be applied to the Lord Jesus – and yet it is also, surely, for us who are adopted by God’s grace to be His sons and daughters. And we are all shielded children (a very apt term!) “all day long”, both now and for all eternity. Let us rest secure in the Lord, resting on His shoulders and knowing that He will never say “Farewell” to us.
Peace and Grace