Yesterday was my brother Chris’ funeral.
The arrangements went smoothly and well; all seemed to go according to plan.
Family and friends met around his coffin at the graveside, about 80 of us. We remembered Chris, listened to Bible verses, sung, prayed. It was sad; Chris was close to us all. It was full of hope; Chris’ God, our God always gives hope in the hardest times.
We threw rose petals and buried my brother Chris.
We returned to the church… perhaps there were 300-400 of us… We sung songs we sing in our English churches (but with French words!) and we listened.
People who had known Chris at different stages of his life told stories, brought memories… his childhood and youth… first visits to France… time at Bible College… permanent return to France… marriage, family… churches and missions… projects, buildings, people, community involvement… preaching, faith.
His children, his grandchildren spoke. They described their Father, their grandfather, with love and strength. They explained the influence he’s had on their lives. Chris would have been proud of them.
They all spoke well, told stories, about my brother Chris.
Each memory, each story described a different aspect of Chris’s life; yet there was a consistency of character that I recognised.
We heard about his energy and enthusiasm… vision and optimism… pragmatism and determination… His care and compassion… love for his wife and family… daily Bible reading and prayer walks… deep and unshakable faith.
I was proud of my brother Chris.
Yesterday was a day I’ll never forget. I have known Chris all of my life. Despite living many miles apart his influence has always been there in the background. Lessons he taught me throughout my life; his example, inspiration, encouragement, integrity remain.
Both service sheets included the words of Jesus: ‘Well done good and faithful servant! …Come and share your master’s happiness.’
I’m grateful to my God for His good and faithful servant, my brother Chris.