Friday, August 26, 2011

Let Your Light Shine

Earlier this week, I attended the sweetest celebration of a life well-lived, authentic in seemingly every way. As the minister said, we were celebrating the totality of life that was Miriam Wilson Weems. I've never been to a funeral quite like this one and I loved how the program opened:

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all its meaning in the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while we rejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

The congregation sang this hymn (by Daniel L. Schutte) and at the end, some man let out a "Woo-whoop." It was a perfect sentiment to what everyone there was feeling - disbelief that this light will not be seen on earth again, yet a joyful celebration that we were all blessed to have known her.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me,
I will hold your people in my heart.

I the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people's pain.
I have wept for love of them,
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone.
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set afeast for them,
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I willgive my life to them.
Whom shall I send?

When I got home I told Doc I was ready to become Episcopalian. They're just Methodists with money, right?

No comments: