So I am back to preaching and being a minister.
And because ministry often involves serving people at times of great pain and heartache, I find myself sharing in funeral services once more.
Last week a much beloved member of our church lost his battle with cancer and won the victory in Jesus. As I contemplated being a part of a funeral service again, I penned what you read below.
But before you read, I am still searching for the right name for this blog–so stay tuned, changes are coming sooner or later that will hopefully reflect my new reality!
Thanks for being a part of my life!
Most Moms are founts of knowledge and wisdom. And most of us grew up with any number of things we needed to heed and remember simply because Momma said.
My mother and my life were then and are still no different.
And she did.
If you can’t say anything nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all.
Don’t talk with your mouth full.
Chew your food up.
Wash your hands.
Be on time.
Wear socks to church.
Be nice to your brother.
Be a gentleman at all times.
Be nice to your sisters and their friends–you might marry one of those friends one day.
Yes, Momma said.
Well maybe not that part about marrying one of my sister’s friends. But she should have because I did!
I am thankful for all the warnings and wisdom found in what Momma said. Thanks to her, I have thus far avoided the catastrophic indignity of riding in an ambulance to the hospital while wearing ratty old undergarments! (And by using the word undergarments, I have also avoided using in public a word/ subject Momma said I shouldn’t talk about).
One time before a date, Momma said I should always keep a copy of the Bible between me and whatever lucky girl I was with. When I asked her (my momma, not my date) about the validity of just using a small checkbook sized New Testament instead, I distinctly remember that Momma said something I didn’t want to hear…
Momma said we shouldn’t use the word hate.
Momma said we shouldn’t hate anybody or anything.
I am hoping that Momma will give me a one-time pass on this one…
Because I hate dying and death.
I hate the pain and suffering of all concerned.
I hate the heartache.
I hate the long-term struggle of coming to grips with the empty seats at the table.
I hate dying and death.
I am not alone.
Not by a long shot.
I am not alone.
The psalmist says in Psalm 116:3-4, The ropes of death were wrapped around me, and the torments of Sheol overcame me; I encountered trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of Yahweh: “Yahweh, save me!”
Death was not a friend of the psalmist. In fact, he reminds us that God knows the high cost of this thing, this enemy we hate…
Psalm 116:15, The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight.
I hate death, but in Christ, death’s victory will be short-lived…
Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!
(1 Corinthians 15:55-57 HCSB)
Momma said I could trust God in this.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!