I grew up going to worship. My parents made it a point to have us there in the pews every week. Sure there were Sundays here and there where we didn’t quite make it all the way to the building, but we probably went about 75% of the time. Pretty good job, mom and dad, if you ask me.
By being in worship so many times, I can’t tell you the number of sermons I’ve listened
too. It is probably well over 500 at this point in my life, maybe even closer to 1000. I’ve heard great ones and not-so-great ones. There are lines and stories from sermons I can still remember very vividly. Maybe you have some too you can remember. I can never remember hearing too many funeral sermons, so I never learned.
Fast forward to my preaching class in seminary. We spent a day on preaching at funerals. Our professor was of the mind that the pastor should always preach a sermon at a funeral. Sure there was space for a eulogy, but more often than not, the eulogy and sermon should be separate entities. His reasoning was a sermon was always preached at the funeral whether or not it was the pastor doing the preaching. At the funeral, death always preaches a sermon. It is up to the pastor to offer a counter-sermon.
Luckily, the pastor doesn’t have to come up with her sermon all by herself. God help her if she did. No, she gets to turn to our Scriptures and see how the one we profess to be Christ offered sermon after sermon professing life when there was death. Providing hope where there was none. Offering faith in situations where disbelief was warranted.
The good news is that this opportunity is not just open only to preachers, but to all of us. The stories of Christ bringing faith, hope, and life to the world are not bound up only in one hour and in one sermon but are to be read and lived out by all of us. You have the opportunity when you are down in the dumps, miserable, or heavy-hearted to turn to our story of faith and see where God has moved before. Then we can look with new eyes where God is moving this day.
Join me on Sunday morning at 9:00AM or 10:45AM for worship and let’s see together where Jesus is bringing hope this week.