The very last word . . . a funeral plan!
Outrageous! Preposterous! Completely out of place!
But you must make your own judgement . . .
A few words recorded in June 2016
I do apologise for breaking every convention with regard to appropriateness, decency and order, but I did want to take this, my absolute last chance, to have a word.
First, to thank you for being here to support one another. While able, I never ceased to thank the Lord God and pray for the wonderful set of family and friends with which he has surrounded me.
Don’t weep for me, for I really do believe in ‘the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting’ and long that each one of you might, do so also.
Like all of us I am only dust and, quite literally, within a very few weeks, to dust I shall return.
Yet, in life, this was dust that the Lord God had bothered with; dust on which he had set his love. Mere dust, and yet, by the kindness and mercy and patience of the Sovereign Creator God, I find myself to be like the Christian believers the apostle Paul describes in the first chapter of his letter to the Ephesians. Mere dust, and yet, ‘chosen before the foundation of the world’. Mere dust, and yet ‘adopted’ and made a child, a son, of the living God. Mere dust, and yet ‘redeemed’ by the precious cross, the blood of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Mere dust, and yet called to live, and even to die, ‘to the praise of his glory’. And, finally dust, ‘destined’ to an ‘inheritance’ with him in glory.
I do believe in the forgiveness of sins; God’s amnesty for those who have been living in his world as if there were no God. A way of forgiveness provided for those who turn to the Living God and cry to him for mercy; a forgiveness offered to us at the cost of the cross of the Lord Jesus. I do believe in the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the body; the resurrection of the whole person – though this body returns, as it must, to the dust. And I do believe in the life everlasting – life in fellowship with the Lord God and his Son the Lord Jesus that not even death can snatch away. To be ‘with the Lord’.
I believe – may I ask, do you?
The charge against King Belshazzar, on the night before he was swept away, was simply this, ‘The God in whose hand is your breath and all your ways, you have not honoured.’ Isn’t that terrifying charge a charge that could stand against each one of us?
But God’s amnesty, the Gospel invitation to forgiveness and peace with God, is wide open. Whoever will may come and drink of this water freely. God so loved the world (you as well as me) that he gave his only Son that whoever believes on him will not perish but have everlasting life.
May I beg you to be reconciled with Almighty God. As I have been able, may you sing with Paul, the apostle, ‘the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’.
May we part with words from the memorial of the Squire of Gressenhall ringing in our ears:
‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’
‘Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”’
‘I know in whom I have believed.’