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Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's my Funeral (your Funeral)

Before I say anything else let me say at the time of writing this I am not aware of my suffering from any terminal illness apart from the ageing process.

At a recent party in conversation with two of my friends they both launched into the topic of what thay wanted their funeral to be or not to be.
We three  are  in our 60,s and have had various health problems that make you realise that time is getting short.
I didn't offer much to the discussion as I was a bit surprised by their forthrightness on the topic.
I just listened.
I do however confess to thinking about my own funeral reasonably often.
Who will be there?
Who will speak?
Who will be the Minister?
How will the message of the Gospel be delivered to challenge those who are not yet Christians?
What music would I want?
What Bible readings?
Apart from weddings I have photographed I reckon I have been to more funerals than weddings.
My wife and I, a couple of years ago, arranged and virtually conducted a small private funeral for a friend.
We have known many who really put a lot of work into their funeral before they died as they had all the above questions on their hearts.
I have spoken at funerals and helped with eulogies.
Some funerals have been a great celebration and some very sad with no joy for anyone.
I have attended a pauper's funeral with only three of us present on a bleak rainy day.
I once worked with a young woman,Amanda, who was a mum and a wife who died relatively young of cancer.
She was a very convinced Christian but not one to make a big deal of that in the workplace.
She was truly amazing as she battled with cancer and deteriorated to her eventual death.
She cheered up those who came to visit her rather than the other way round.
There were many of her friends and relatives and a large contigent of workmates at her  funeral.
Her cousin. a minister, conducted the funeral.
Towards the end of the ceremony he offered that  Amanda wanted everyone present to have the opportunity on the way out to receive a free booklet that really explained her Faith.
Many took advantage of this and I thought it was an excellent idea.
At another recent funeral  of our beloved former Pastor ,Morrie Munyard, he had said he wanted his funeral to be one of celebration of life and faith and humour and laughter.
It was just that, but his wife Florence left everyone there with no wondering  about the importance of making a decision for Jesus Christ before they died.

Morrie and Florence at his 80th birthday
At funerals mostly people say nice things about people and mostly make light of whatever faults the deceased had.
No doubt something like that would happen at my own funeral but I would certainly want people to be aware of some of the following truths about me and the Gospel and life after death.

1. I have no doubts of going to Heaven and avoiding Hell?
    I have no doubts that those places exist.

2. There is nothing meritorious in me that would warrant the above happening.I might be  seen as good bloke or whatever but my salvation rests entirely on what Jesus did on the cross and my response to Him and not anything I might have achieved in life.
I am a sinner saved by the grace of God.

3.I would hope that people present may be touched by God's Holy Spirit in the service and come away determined to get right with God,
get right in relationships,
be ready to forgive others,
 and to continue or start a lifelong journey of growing into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
4.I would want them to know or discover that there is no one that Jesus does not love and can enable to become a new person altogether.

To be healed of damaged emotions.

To be forgiven for past, present and future sin.

To be set free from addictions.

To experience release from any spiritual bondage.

To be assured of heaven now and when they die.

And much more........
Most of the answers to the how of all of this are on these posts on this blog in the form of audio tapes,bible studies and short booklets etc.
They are all contained in the Bible.
These resources just help to bring out the truth of The Gospel.

So what have you got planned for your funeral?

If you were to arrive at the gates of Heaven and Jesus was to ask you why should I let you in?

What would you say?

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