then joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. and joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. so the physicians embalmed israel. forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. and the egyptians wept for him seventy days. [genesis 50:1-3]
so much honor is shown here in the actions of joseph toward his father. weeping over him, he is not ashamed to show feelings of grief. making arrangements for burial, he orders skilled physicians to embalm him instead of mummification, which was the normal egyptian practice, so that the body would last the journey to the promised land. and giving him the honor of a king by calling all of egypt to mourn for him an extended period of seventy days. all of this for a man who would not even be aware of the honor he had received.
as members of the body of Christ, we too are called to show this kind of honor to our brothers and sisters. because of our spirit of love and the bond of peace, we are united by the blood of Christ and the sharing of the Holy Spirit, and we are to treat one another as such.
let love be genuine. abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. love one another with brotherly affection. outdo one another in showing honor. do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the lord. rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. live in harmony with one another. do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. never be wise in your own sight. repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. [romans 12:9-17]
outdo one another in showing honor! church, how are we doing at this? when was the last time you showed honor to another in the body? when you do, what a testimony it is to the work God is doing in and through his bride!
we do not serve the Lord for the praises of man. nor do we honor brothers for their glory or for ours. but together, we acknowledge to the world that God uses weak and broken people to bring about his glorious plan here on earth. that they might see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven. [matthew 5:16]
don’t wait until someone’s funeral to speak out the wonders God is working through them. but let us be thinking of ways to outdo one another in showing honor! and in doing so, we can build up the body of Christ, encouraging one another not to grow weary in doing good, but pressing on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!