I would hope that most of us reading this feel blessed to be part of a Christian fellowship. Of course, it is our prayer that we will continue to be a blessing to each other until the day the Lord returns victoriously on the clouds, or alternatively, calls us into His eternal presence some other way.
Sometimes being part of a Christian fellowship means that we need to have ‘awkward’ discussions before we pass into glory. A Pastor was once asked two questions concerning death. First, how many years can we reasonably expect the Lord to give us? He answered by quoting Psalm 90:10, “The length of our days is seventy years or eighty if we have the strength…” Second, what happens if we don’t get to seventy? After some thought, the Pastor replied, “If you are a Christian, early promotion.”
The reality is that unless the Lord returns quickly, the Lord will use various means to call us home, perhaps an accident or sickness or just heart failure that eventually comes with old age. Having said that, did you know some of the best thanksgiving services are held when people have planned their departure to glory before it occurs? So, may I encourage you to give that some thought. Here are some suggestions that you may wish to consider:
- Have you arranged your funeral or paid for a pre-arranged funeral?
- What passage from Scripture would you like the officiating minister to use for a message to family and friends who may attend the graveside service, or thanksgiving service, or both? Perhaps you just want a graveside service – that’s fine too.
- What hymns, songs and music would you like to have sung and played during the service?
- Consider whether the interment (graveside service) should be first, followed by a thanksgiving service, or vice versa? Have a chat to your Pastor about the pros and cons for either way.
- Consider whether a eulogy is appropriate, and if so, what should be the content of such a eulogy? The Pastor may be able to give some direction.
- Consider whether you would like to offer light refreshments after the service and where that should be and if costs are involved, how payment can be arranged.
- If refreshments are offered, who will set-up, serve, supply food and drinks and clean up afterwards?
- Consider whether a bequest to the Church may be appropriate so that the gospel continues to go forth.
Anyhow, if you wish to speak about this further, please see one of the leadership in the church. The Lord’s blessing on you for the coming year as we together seek to serve Him and each other, to His glory. JZ