I'm doing my first funeral on Monday. It's for an eighty-eight year old man who literally died with his boots on, getting ready to clear a quarter-section of bush with his CAT. He had just driven it up on his truck bed and got in the cab when he up and died in his wife's arms. His only request was to be buried with his boots on.
Every time I get up to preach on Sabbath morning I feel %100 inadequate, and that feeling is twice as bad right now. What can you say in the presence of such profound feelings of grief and loss? The English language hardly seems to equip the preacher to handle the moment. To me, words are almost inappropriate at such a time.
Yet the family is counting on someone to give the man a decent send off, to say some good things about his life and bring to mind the hope of meeting him again. So here I sit, trying to figure out what I'm going to say. I'm confounded by the privilege of the trust they have placed in me, the pastor.
And now I must remind myself that it's not about me. The only good sermons I've preached have been when I humbly told the Holy Spirit that I wasn't up to the task and that He was going to have to take over. Now I'm going to have to pray that prayer twice as hard, so please pray with me.