I apologise for the lack of blogs lately. I've been terribly busy doing busy things and not writing. Some might even say I have been hopeless.
Which segues nicely into what I actually want to talk about.
These past two weeks have seen two funerals take place in the church I work at. They're pretty rare around here, so to have two in two weeks is a little bit different, and challenging.
What was really interesting about the funerals was how different they were. The first, a church member, was a dear old lady in her 80s, who had been coming to St Paul's for 35 or so years. She was happy, if a little fragile after a few falls, and had a great social network around her. She died in her sleep, having been seen that day up and about.
The second was a sudden death of a lady who was 50 years old, not a church goer, with a large extended family and social network. I sat in on the service planning with the son, which was a time rife with grief and shock. There was no real faith within the family, but they wanted a good send-off for her.
The difference between the two funerals? Hope.
The first was a celebration. The second was a mourning. The first was thanking God for the life of a much loved lady. The second was a heartbreaking cry of desperation. The first understood we have a hope. The second had no such understanding, and had no such hope.
Interesting, isn't it? That although there was a sadness about the first funeral, it wasn't hopeless.
And I suppose, in amongst it all, that's what we cling to. The hope that Jesus has taken the sting out of death, so that we might live.