Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Would They Say?

In aging churches memorial services can become all too frequent. I'm certainly not new to attending memorial services. I've attended my share already with the passing of relatives, friends, parishioners and relatives of parishioners. Some have been tragic and shocking losses that were unexpected and difficult to deal with. Others have been a blessing after long illnesses and suffering. Either way, each memorial service is as unique as each individual who has passed from this life to the next. But what is the same at each memorial service is the eulogy. It is common for several different people to share something about the person they loved.

As I've listened this week to loving and tear-filled rememberances I've wondered again what people would say at my memorial service. This isn't narcissistic...this is a real question of how well I'm living as a follower of Jesus. Am I living is such a way that the first thing people would notice about me is the Christ in me; the acts of love, mercy, forgiveness, patience, and healing? Would people talk about what a 'good person' I was or what a 'Godly person' I was? Am I really living out what I say I believe in? Am I really taking up my cross and following Jesus in ways that are obvious to the world? Would people speak of the qualities they saw in me, or would they speak of how Christ used my life?

The sacred point? Knowing that you may leave this mortal world at any time, does that change how you live? Knowing what others have said about their loved ones at memorial services, what would your loved ones say about you?