A pastor in Christ Chapel International Churches, Elekima Ekine has said it is wrong to discourage people from mourning their loved ones that passed away adding also that “those who mourn are blessed because they will be comforted.”
He gave the counsel at the wake keep service of a Senior Pastor in the church Mrs. Dotun Ayodele who passed on April 28 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital after a brief illness.
The wake-keep service took place at the Ojokoro, Lagos chapter of CCIC on Wednesday, May 10.
Ekine said, “People who don’t mourn to express their grief do themselves a lot of harm”.
Making allusion to one of the beatitudes; a set of revolutionary teachings by Jesus on the Mount, he said, “In Matt 5v4, Jesus said, blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Jesus knows that people will mourn.
“So people should be allowed to mourn their dead especially when the person dies in Christ. But the keyword is that those who mourn are blessed because they will be comforted. When a believer mourns, he is assured of being comforted by God himself. You do yourself damage by not crying. Let people cry it will do them good.”
Ekine said he came to the realisation that it is good to cry when he lost a loved one. He said it was after he had had a good cry that he was able to come out of the grief he experienced.
He said, “The blessing is not that you mourn. But that you will be comforted. So mourn and allow comfort to come. When God comforts you, he will add something to you. When God comforts you, he does it his own way. We have to open our hearts to his comfort. God will do what is necessary to bring comfort.”
The cleric said further that people who grieve should open themselves to the comfort of God. “The God of all comfort will comfort you by all means. How he will do it is left to him. We should take him at his word. We shall be comforted.”
He said also that the loss of a loved one is a trial of faith. “The question is: Do you still see yourself as someone more than a conqueror after losing a loved one? Death must not reduce you in any way. Death is not the end for a child of God. It is a transition to glory.”
Death according to him “does not separate the believer from God, rather it brings the believer to God. Death is the final weapon of the enemy.”
He however said that the tragedy is to die without Christ. “When that happens there is no repentance in the gravel. This is the time to ensure that you’re on the right path with God,” he said.
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He said Pastor Mrs. Oludotun Ayodele has gone to be with God. “The comfort we have after mourning is that she is with God. You will rejoice if you love the dead because she has gone to the father. Love is to seek the highest good for another person. The highest good for her is to be with the father. If you love her rejoice that she is with the father. In rejoicing you are actually expressing your faith.” Ekine said.
Until her death, Pastor Oludotun Ayodele was a civil servant. She was an educationist, a marketing coach, and a PhD student. Her husband, Prof Ayo Ayodele is a lecturer at the Lagos State University and also a Pastor in CICC.
Hundreds of people attended the wake keep. Many described her as a quiet woman always with a smile. They also shared testimonies of how she impacted their lives while also adding that her memory will live with them forever.