Last Sunday afternoon I attended the unexpected funeral of a gentleman to whom I had been taking communion since I arrived in Manly.
I say “unexpected”, not because he wasn’t expected to die at some point (he was 92) but because none of his friends from recent years seems to have had any idea that he had become so gravely ill. Some learnt of his death through an advertisement in the paper… and via “the grapevine”. Close friends weren’t informed and, consequently, missed the funeral. I know this has all caused further grief for many who feel that they were denied the opportunity to say their farewells.
The funeral was also “unexpected” in that it was held at the undertaker’s premises, and lead by a funeral celebrant! There was no mention of this mans faith, his church involvement, or the long-term faith of his widow. Unfortunately the widow was in no state to have made arrangements. Sadly the funeral is unlikely to have alleviated her grief, or given her any hope, peace or comfort. Certainly, many of those in attendance commented that it was a cold and stark occasion.
So, why am I sharing this with you? Well as I reflected on the impact of this one mans death and funeral I realized that my funeral is the last opportunity I will have to impact on the lives of those I love… and I want the impact to be positive!
I expect there will be some sadness but I want people to laugh and share stories… Most of all I want my farewell to be a moment in which the light of my faith might shine on another mans death. I want my earthly death to point people’s attention to Christ … His death and resurrection! Most of all, I want the message to go out loud and strong, that where there is Christ there is faith, hope and love… and these gifts, with Christ Himself, are eternal!
What about you? What is the message you want to leave for those you love?
Love and Blessings