I’ll get back to Angels and Demons. I know I often promise more and don’t deliver. This time I actually have the second part written. Basically I’m doing what Fox News does when they tell you they are going to have some story right after the break but don’t get to it until the end of the broadcast. (I promise this didn’t happen to me last night regarding John and Kate + 8 on O’Reilly.)
Anyway… The Lord has given me a really cool ministry in that I preach funerals for families who don’t have pastors. The funeral home that calls me is known around town to be Christian so people who call there know they’re getting a Christian funeral. What this means for me is that I am free to preach the gospel.
Because most of these people don’t have pastors I am often not clear (at best) regarding the spiritual state of the deceased. In these cases I try to encourage the bereaved and exhort them to consider the gospel of Jesus Christ at a time when they are most likely very aware of the brevity of this life.
Today was different. This morning, because her regular pastor wasn’t available, I had the privilege of preaching a memorial service for a dear lady whose life was filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Her parents died when she was in her teens and she immediately went to work so that she could take care of her younger brothers and sisters. According to the many accounts I heard about her life as we stood around the graveside today this attitude of loving self-sacrifice was consistent with her entire life. She loved her Lord Jesus with all of her heart, spoke of Him often, and no doubt is rejoicing today in His presence with her husband who went to be with Him over 40 years ago.
A few yards away in the same cemetery is the grave of my Nana who we buried a little over a year ago. She too lived a life of self-sacrifice, always giving of herself unconditionally to her family. She didn’t have much but what she had she would give cheerfully without hesitation. Both of these women belong to a generation who knew the importance of setting aside selfish ambition for the sake of those they loved. We all need to do more to follow their example both in service to the Lord and service to others.
I left that service this morning full of joy. This woman’s life became a great encouragement to me to finish the race well…to persevere in serving my Lord. Her son described her as poor even though she never really knew it. She gave all she had and now knows what it’s like to hear her Savior say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”