Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ash Wednesday Sermon

It took me a while to realize what I was doing, but I noticed that after I preside over a funeral, I write something on my blog about it. And also, if it’s warm, I sometimes take my oldest daughter to the cemetery afterwards and “introduce” her to the person I just buried.

I don’t know what it is about funerals that make me more reflective. It might be the obvious. I’m face to face with someone who had died.

And it’s hard to proclaim a message of life and salvation at a funeral service without some peoples’ tears landing on you, bringing out tears of your own.

Maybe it’s because death causes me to face my own doubts. When you’re standing at the foot of an occupied casket, with family members quietly wiping their eyes, it’s hard to keep the bible’s promises of resurrection as abstract theory or weighty theological principles. It’s hard to pontificate when people are weeping. It’s difficult to spout soft religious platitudes in the midst of life and death questions

Maybe that’s why I get reflective. I find funerals to be an uncomfortable reminder that one day I will lie in that coffin, and I don’t like that scenario. I don’t like being confronted with the fact that, yes, I have come from dust, and to dust I will return.

Two years ago, I was almost killed on the Granum highway. Twice. Within the space of two minutes. It was snowing and I...(whole thing here)

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