December 18, 2006

Make that TWO Funerals

The phone rang. All he said was "hello," and I knew why he was calling. His mom had passed away.

I wanted to go be with him and his family. However, because of the congestion and lightheadedness, I was barely able to stand. (I don't quite know how I made it through preaching during worship earlier in the day). I told him I'd call him on Monday--after another funeral for another church member that I'm doing.

For some reason, when it comes to ministry, the old saying is true: when it rains, it pours. It has been a really long time since we've had a funeral in the church, and this week we'll have two. I take some comfort in the fact that the two members who have died lived long, full lives; one was 85, the other over 90. But still, I think it's going to be a hard Christmas for some members of our little congregation. Indeed, the congregation as a whole will be feeling a little blue this Christmas.

The first funeral will be a graveside service at 11:30 today with the family, followed by a memorial service at 1:00. The predicted temperature at 11:30 will be in the mid 40s, so I'll break out the heavy coat that I haven't worn since I lived in Indiana nine years ago. At the memorial service which follows, there will probably be more people than our country church will hold, given that she was a local high school teacher for 26 years. I expect it will be quite a celebration of life, as long as the preacher can stay standing on his feet.

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