We went to our son's father-in-law funeral. A very nice service except for the sermon that ran on and I was never very sure where he was going with it. (Please understand that I am a Christian and am very grounded in my faith.) Then we went to the gravesite. I was blown away by his choice of bible chapters, St. John Chapter 11, which is the story of Lazarus. The brief story is-Jesus does not arrive until Lazarus has been dead for 4 days and when Jesus arrives Mary and Martha tell him that if he had been there thier brother would still be alive and he asks Martha if she belives and she affirms that she believes he is the saviour and the son of God. Because she belives Jesus goes to the tomb has them remove the stone and calls Lazarus to come forth, which he does and is now alive.
While this is a powerful story showing the that Jesus is the resurrection with power over death and gives glory to God, I felt that using this scripture at this time was like saying, "If only your belief was strong enough, this coffin would open and Steve would no longer be dead to us.
I would appriciate your feed back, since I am so close to the situation I may not be looking at it clearly. I have been praying about this and felt compelled to write.
Thanks so much for your help.
VIKING SERENADE 1993
STAR PRINCESS 2002
NCL STAR 2004
MS OOSTERDAM 2008
Hmmm??....... it seems to me that, me being RC by my parents choice and a Karmarist by my personal choice that it seems that your God does have power over life and death and he has chosen to take your sons farther in law to his realm.
Is this world better or is heaven (hopefully with a proper full life) a better place to be?
I think the point was that, due to the departed's Faith, death is no more than sleep.
Jesus will someday call him from the tomb, in the same way he called Lazarus.
I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!
Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Enchantment 9/03 Just had to go back.
Inspiration 3/04 Just have to go back again, and again, and again...
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 It's Margaret's fault!
I agree that with Steve that the minister was trying to impart that message, but I think that it was not the best choice of scripture for the graveside. I think that is why most clergy read the 23 Psalm or Psalm 91 - something to comfort the grieving.
I think it is important for those around you to know what your favorite scriptures/hymns are so they can make educated decisions during these times. It would be better to write down what you would like. It seems morbid to think about it ahead, but it does make sense.
Amazing, but nothing surprises me at all. Some of the fundamentalists just go to far.
I was to a funeral of a good friend of mine 2 years ago, who had in his early life, been heavily addicted to drugs (needles), contracted AIDS and then eventually died.
The 2 ministers who did the service had never met him and the one started the service off with "He is laying here because of what he did, let none of you suffer the same fate" and then they proceeded to go on and even did 2 calls to salvation during the funeral. I near came out of my chair.
My friend was saved, just didn't go to their church and henceforth, in their opinion, was going to -ell.
I won't tell you what I did as I walked past these two.
I agree with the early posts that the scripture implies victory over death in the fulness of time, not necessarily in our time. I think the Lazarus story is comforting in that it speaks of the humanity of Jesus. Remeber he wept at the grave of his friend, even though he knew he had the power to save him from the mortal grave.
I've been through a series of funeral in the last few months andhave drafted my funeral service and have it on file in the church office for the eventuality of my own funeral. One less thing for the family to deal with leaving more time to order up the Irish whiskey for the wake!
I think sometimes ministers have their own agenda. Being the youngest child in my family, I have been to many funerals (parents, brother, grandparents, my first child, friends, etc.) I have heard so many different types of funerals. I was raised Baptist, married a Catholic and we are now Methodist. I have to say the Baptist funerals are the worst.........country Baptist funerals can last all day. Sometimes I think the ministers are trying to satisfy the requests of family members..............I consider myself a good Christian and I try not to critique funerals, but I have left some before shaking my head. Even went to one where the preacher issued an invitation for the "unsaved" to come forward so that they could face the prospect to entering heaven and being with the dearly departed. Yes, it was a Southern Baptist funeral. I would say that the ministers choice using Lazarus wasn't the best but guess when he looked up death in his concordance, the story of Lazarus popped up! For me, I'd rather hear about the streets of gold, walking through the valley of death and then hear stories about the departed and what an impact they made on the lives of others around them. That's where you see Christianity in someone's life. I will never forget the words of my favorite minister (yes he was Southern Baptist) who told me that if my mother had a chance to come back here with us after she had seen the glory of heaven, she would gladly decline the chance and stay in heaven even though it meant not being with her earthly family. That's the kind of stuff I want to hear. Makes me not afraid of dying.............
I will not argue the merits (or lack thereof) of the theology involved.
But I will say this: you are clearly reading your own "conclusion" into what message was intended by using this particular reading. You may be right. You may be wrong.
You get on that slippery slope as soon as you say, "I felt that using this scripture. . .was like saying. . ." That's your conclusion, nothing more. I'm sure you're a devout Christian, but that doesn't make your conclusions infallible.
If using this passage gave comfort to the family in a difficult time, then religion has served its purpose. You should forget about your being "blown away," you should remember the departed with love and affection, and you should move on.
Really an apropos post as I, too, went to a funeral yesterday. It was my first experience w/ a Masonic funeral and I have to say it was beautifully done. The gist was that we start to die as soon as we start to breath and the only reason for a funeral is to prompt the living to evaluate their own lives. It was fairly short, graveside, and thought-provoking....... also very dignified. I tend to agree that the Lazarus story might not have been the best choice of scripture, but it has been known for ministers to use the previous Sunday's sermon, suitably modified, for any funeral that crops up that week. Perhaps that was the case here.
Thank you all so much for your input. I wanted so much to look at this in another light. By seeing all your different views I see that all views are just different, not necessarily wrong. In praying about this matter I was shown that although this was so wrong to me there may have been someone there that really needed to hear "that" message. (God is always reminding me that it is NOT about me.) Steve spent most of his life encouraging others and showing them the Lord's love and caring thru his (Steve's) love and caring. Since the verse below is my favorite I know that good came out of this choice.
Thank you all so much for your words and your prayers.
VIKING SERENADE 1993
STAR PRINCESS 2002
NCL STAR 2004
MS OOSTERDAM 2008