Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Damn good talk, reverend
Burying the Unchurched and speaking to their friends.
He was a man I had never met. A longtime retiree who loved people, and golf. The family hired a pianist and a soloist who sang Amazing Grace and How great Thou Art, beautifully, I might add.
I opened with the usual Verses, read Psalm 23 and I Cor. 13, and gave the words of committal from the classic church of England liturgy.
There was a time I would have struggled with this and tried to put the best spin on a man whose lack of hunger for God must indicate a date with outer darkness and gnashing of teeth.
A few years ago I underwent a wonderful paradigm shift when I realized that the New Covenant was made with sinners, and that Christians are the ambassadors of that good news that God has in Christ reconciled all of Adams race, propitiated their sin, and that he is in the business of fulfilling the better promises of the new covenant that will eventually reconcile all things in Christ. I spoke of the gift of life, love, family, and God Himself. I wanted to build bridges to those fellow golfers, not to accuse, judge or threaten them. The response was interesting and encouraging.
I did not put the man in heaven, I put him in the hands of God.
An inclusive love is a very powerful thing, and it is there, a bit deeper in the story, but loud and clear.