An Unusual Request

I was attending a visitation recently, prior to a funeral I was officiating, when I was given a strange request.  While giving the deceased’s mother a hug, his brother reached around her, grabbed my hand and said, “No Bible thumping, buddy.”  I had never had this happen to me before and I was surprised and startled by his words.

For me, officiating a funeral has two parts:

1.  Celebrate the life of the person who has passed.  Prior to the service, I spend time with the family to learn about their loved one:  Hobbies, passions, work history, enjoyable memories.  During the service, I spend time highlighting the person through the eyes of their family.  For me, it’s always a good thing to see a smile on the face of the family as I bring back specific memories.

2.  Comfort those who are left behind.  I try to point those in attendance to the one who can help the most during this time:  Jesus.  I talk about the comfort, help and hope that Jesus brings to all who desire it.

Hearing the brother’s words made me wonder if he’d had a negative experience in the past?  While the words were a little offensive, they did remind me of the need to be a light pointing to Jesus in the right way.

After the service, he shook my hand and said, “Great job, Reverend.”  I hope the words of celebration and comfort I spoke made a positive difference to the entire family.  I really want to shine brightly for Jesus each day.


About lancehurley

Executive Director of Ignite Church Planting: Chicagoland
This entry was posted in Ministry Report, Reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An Unusual Request

  1. Ed Taylor says:

    I always try to strike that same balance. It’s tough sometimes, especially if no one can say for sure whether or not the deceased was a believer. Kudos for not thumping on your Bible 🙂

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