Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's Your Funeral

When Carl Matheny passed away, there was no funeral. For this member of the church there was no visitation. No, there was not even a graveside service. Why? Because his funeral had already happened. In fact, believe it or not, he was there. He had learned the cancer was terminal. Weeks before his death he made arrangements for it all to happen beforehand. Carl Matheny attended his own funeral. Imagine getting to hear people say what they wanted to say about you before you were gone. He didn't have time to change much. Maybe he didn't need to. Perhaps those who spoke of him were kinder than he deserved, but probably not. Folks are usually more kind in front of grieving family members they are attempting to comfort, and the dead no longer have to live up to praise which is meant to represent them. Have you heard of someone preaching their own funeral? My father-in-law attended one such funeral today. This time the man had passed before the funeral, but he had left the words to be read. Outside of a prayer and a reading or two, the rest was all him. Two thoughts come to mind. 1. If someone were to preach your funeral long before you were to die, what would they say and what would you want to change? 2. Each moment we are all giving material for the preacher to read when we die, whether we leave a written copy or not. So what are you going to do with the rest of your life? After all, it's your funeral...

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