It has been a busy week, worthwhile and valuable in lots of ways, but a hard week. What has particularly overshadowed the week and used lots of mental/emotional/spiritual energy has been the death and funeral of one particularly special member of our local congregation. I'd known him since before I actually came here as he was a great friend of one of my colleagues and we'd first met a year or so before I moved to this village. When I got here I tried to visit every few weeks, but there were long stretches of time when I couldn't due to other pressures, though we would meet week by week as I led services here.
When he became very ill I visited as frequently as I could make it, and for the past month or so nearly every day. He was a man of great faith who missed his wife very much and longed to join her in death, in the arms of our eternal God. Above all, he trusted in Jesus, and just a few days before he died he said to me 'I know where I am going, I'm not afraid to die'. He was an inspiration, and a thoroughly good man. His funeral was very well attended, he had planned it himself! The readings were very well chosen, various members of his family took parts in the service and the local 'High Sheriff of Cambridge' who lives in the village (it is an honourary title given to various very worthy and socially minded folk for the course of a year)did a very good Eulogy, to which I added a reminder of the Gospel message of the promise of life through Christ.
It was a good funeral, as good as these things can be, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have officiated at it and drawn together the prayers of many faithful Christians in this and surrounding villages as we gave thanks to God for this man's life and commended him to God's loving keeping.
But it was hard work, and with various other demands has meant that I have spent very little time blogging, as you may have noticed. Am now preparing for services tomorrow. Need to think of a sermon. Will let you know if I have one ready before bed.