Recently the Episcopal church brought a potential new Preist to town to get a feel for what ministry is like on the reservation. During our time together we talked about what funerals are like. I am asked to do funerals on a regular basis.
Many times, I am asked to lead a funeral for someone I do not know, nor do I know their family. One of the first things I try to figure out is how religious of a service they want. Sometimes they have invited me to lead because they think they need a Christian service.
I try to give them a prayer service and funeral that helps them find peace. Sometimes it is clear they really want to hear the words “ashes to ashes dust to dust” Other times I will hear stories about how much the church meant to the deceased or to the family.
I am there to provide comfort. To give them some peace. I try to provide a service that fits their needs. Yes, I bring the Good News of Jesus’s love. But I do not insist on any of my own preferences. It is NOT about me. It is about the family. It is about God. And pushing my way is NOT how to bring God to oppressed people.
My job is to point people to Christ. I let the spirit work from there. I tend to let them know that God loves them through my actions not my words. The people we work with have had Jesus shoved down their throats.
Funerals are about the people. This weekend I will provide the love of Christ once again as I lead a funeral for one of the gentlemen who use to hang out at the center. I will once again do what I can for the family.
God loves them, God loves you, and so do I.