Becky has a great church family and wonderful pastor at Living Spirit UMC, and I am grateful for their presence with my friend. Having said that, it is a bit odd to be thinking about sitting in the pew instead of leading the service. I’ve not really attended that many funerals…I’ve presided at well over 200, close to 300, in my career but to just go and be there…not that many.
I remember several years ago one of my best friends in college, a guy who stood up at our wedding, died suddenly. The funeral was back home in Southern Illinois. It is a very long drive home, and of course it was on a weekend, and that meant I would need to take a vacation Sunday. I could have very easily found even more excuses for not going…but I went… I needed to be there.
Most of you have more experience with this than I do, so let me know if I’m wrong here -- but this needing to be there was a bit of compulsion mixed with a whole lot of compassion. Put them together and although I had a choice, I felt like the choice had been made years before when my friend and I were spending all those times together in his ‘67 Mustang singing along to his 8-tracks of Bob Seger and Billy Joel.
What I mean to say is that in all of our lives, we face what is both inconvenient and irresistible, and although we make a certain intellectual choice…the real choice has occurred often much earlier in a much deeper part of ourselves.
All this is just another way of saying why the staff at EPUMC chose to attend a funeral at Living Spirit UMC.
Keep the Faith,