We attended another funeral yesterday. Our third one for this year. Bob's boss's boss's wife. The preacher kept talking about himself..."the last time I..." or "when I talked to her on the phone..." and the wonderful things she did --made her sound like wonderwoman. I am sure she was, but get to the Gospel. He should have read John 3:16 first. And when a preacher says he has never had this request in all the funerals and services like this (celebration of life) I was mighty suspect---the sinner's prayer? Seriously? Well, buddy, I prayed it. That God would keep me from killing you for such a poor sermon. Without the Gospel first, and Jesus as the Reason and the Power, it is all for naught.
A picture of her would have been nice. It has been twenty years since I had seen her face to face. Thankfully, no body. No empty shell. No cadaver. Thank You!
At our first funeral this year, there was a box, a small wooden box of ashes, made to look even smaller by the casket size flag. At our second funeral, the embalmed body and the family touching it, and adding things to it, was such a contrast. Yesterday, no body, no casket, no picture, no urn. Just words. Pretty flowers, and directions where to send donations in her name. The dear lady organized it all herself. Each one that got up to speak said they had been so tasked. She was organized. I liked the not-sung-very-often verses from Amazing Grace. I appreciated her courage for bringing them out into the open, and into the light of day.
So, when you plant my body in the ground, or scatter my ashes upon the wind, speak the Gospel FIRST. The rest is wood, hay and stubble.