Saturday, 28 November 2015

Please Don't Say These Things at my Funeral

I am with Chad Bird. So, please don’t say at my funeral…

1. He was a good man. I don't believe that humanity divides into good and bad people. Good and bad run right through each one of us. In fact, given the good upbringing and many privileges I have enjoyed, you'd be appalled how much bad there still is, if only you knew.

2. Thomas this...Thomas that..."If anyone’s name comes up over and over, let it be the name that is above every name—Jesus. He is the one who has conquered death. He is the one in whose arms I will have died. He is the one, the only one, who gives hope to the bereaved. Let me decrease that Christ may increase."

3. God now has another angel. My death and resurrection are not going to make me less human. "In fact, once I am resurrected on the last day, I will be more human than ever before," free from the sin that has distorted my humanity.

4. We are not here to mourn Thomas' death, but to celebrate his life. If you think celebrating my life will do you good, go ahead, but not at the expense of a proper funeral. I am in agreement with Chad's earlier post on the tragic death of the funeral.

5. Thomas would not want us to weep.
"There is a time for giving life and a time for dying...a time for weeping and a time for laughing..." (Ecclesiastes 3). That's all right. "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). If you don't feel like weeping, that's all right too.

6. What’s in that coffin is just the shell of Thomas. "What’s in that coffin is the body that was fearfully and wonderfully made ... in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). What’s in that coffin is the body that Jesus baptized into His own body ... What’s in that coffin is the body that ate the saving body of Jesus, and drank His forgiving blood in the Supper, that I might consume the medicine of immortality." I don't know how this body will relate to my new embodied self but I trust the promise that the physical body has a future. Don't diss it.

"I want the beginning of my funeral to be focused on Jesus, as well as the middle, as well as the end, as well as every point in between. I care about those who will attend. Let them hear the good news, especially in the context of this sobering reminder of mortality, that neither death, nor life, nor anything else in all creation, can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, our Lord, for He is the resurrection and the life."