Daily Lenten Devotion Tuesday, April 1

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Psalm 34; Genesis 49:29-50:14; 1 Corinthians 11:2-34 and Mark 8:1-10

Genesis 49:29-50:14 – 29Then he (Jacob) charged them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors – in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah – 32the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.  …

50:7So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company.

We began our Lenten journey with these words; “remember that from dust you came and to dust you shall return.” Most of us do not like to think about our mortality, yet the reality is that one day we shall die. We don’t know when that day will be and for that I am glad yet we do know one day we shall die.

In my ministry I get the privilege of helping family members plan out the celebration of life for their loved ones. It is an honor and a privilege. I especially enjoy the time I share with the deceased family’s members letting them tell me about their beloved family member. This is often very holy time for me and often I’ll even get the honor of hearing stories they don’t want shared at the funeral/memorial service. My hope and prayer is that this time is a blessed and healing time for them.

Something that often helps family members is the deceased last wishes. It may be a song to be sung or scripture to be shared. It could include a eulogy the deceased would like read. It could include a poem or saying.

You would think that I as a pastor would have my wishes down on paper. I don’t as of yet but this is on my to-do list for this Lenten season. I was thinking the other day as to how I’d like scripture woven into my service from beginning to end.

I once did a funeral service that began with Genesis 1:1 and ended with Revelation 22:17-21. I did this because the deceased had made it her habit to read through scripture from beginning to end throughout the last several years of her life.

What’s your wishes for your service of the celebration of your life? Where do you wish to be buried/interred or your ashes scattered. This is the piece Phyllis and I haven’t settled on. We know we want to be cremated but we haven’t decided where we want our ashes interred or scattered.

A meaningful time for me has been when family members wanted the deceased ashes scattered upon water. The boney cremains drift quickly to the stream or lake bed, while the ashes portion floats and then scatters on the water surface. This has been meaningful for from earth we came and to earth we shall return.

Okay, enough seriousness. Need some good humor on this April Fool’s Day.

When Jesus died the people, especially those in authority cried out – He’s dead. He’s dead indeed.

Then three days later, Jesus was able to cry out – April fools! I have risen and come to give new life.

At funeral services I celebrate the past life but also celebrate the new life God offers us and gives us through Christ. So, friends this April Fool’s Day trust and believe in Christ who came back to offer us all eternal life.

O God, thank you for the gift of life now and the promise of eternal life in your kingdom. Help us to value life today even as we wait to join you and all the saints in your eternal kingdom. Thank you for this day you did not promise, yet you are giving to us. Amen.

Psalm 34 – 3   O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together. …

8   O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>