From Funerals to Forgiveness

Funerals: In recent days we have learnt of the deaths of sports presenter Frank Bough, comedian Bobby Ball, footballer Nobby Stiles, actor Sean Connery, comedian John Sessions….

Yesterday I attended a funeral, the wife of a friend. She was only 61. A sad occasion.

Fear: Fear seems to be everywhere. Fear of Covid, fear of the effects of lockdown, fear of loneliness, fear of losing jobs and income, fear of death, fear of the unknown. Graphs, statistics, predictions…

And that’s against an international background of fear – terrorist attacks, global pollution, global warming, the American elections….

Family: Last night the grandchildren came round for tea – the last time for at least a month. We enjoyed peach, pear and mango crumble.  

Our focus changes. We think about our families, those who are closest to us. Those we can meet, those we miss, those we can only see on a screen or hear on the phone. How we give and receive love in difficult times; how we stay aware of and support those who are struggling.

Faith: We reconsider the nature and involvement of the god we do or don’t believe in. We question, we doubt, we become more sure of our convictions…

At yesterday’s funeral we considered the story of Jesus (John 11) coming to a family where the brother, Lazarus, has died. In the midst of bereavement, grief, disappointment and confusion, Jesus says, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live…’

Forgiveness: This morning I’m musing on ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:32)

In days of funerals and fear we need to treat each other with kindness and compassion – as family. We forgive – ourselves and each other; we can’t afford to dwell on past mistakes and failures. We focus on today and the future.

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