A few days ago I attended a funeral of a man who had been a great asset to our local community. He truly had been a fine man with a servant's heart. The funeral service lasted over an hour and a half. Eight different speakers extolled the wonderful qualities of the deceased and praised his selfless service to others.
Everything the speakers said was true but I had a terrible feeling that something was wrong. We were, after all, in a church. We had listened to and sung some moving hymns. Yet, on and on, the eulogies went; praising human accomplishment(though well deserved) without any mention of God. Something was terribly wrong with this picture. Finally, the pastor began to speak. At first I thought it was going to be the same litany we had been hearing. Then he said that this man who had meant so much to his family, friends, and community, had expressed his faith in God. There it was! He had faith in God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the one who deserves the praise. All that my friend accomplished pales in comparison to his faith in Christ. As a matter of fact, it was his faith in God that caused him to be the man that he was. Why did it take so long for the mention of God to show up in the eulogies? I don't know the answer to that question but I can say that this funeral service stands for me as a parable of many Christian lives(I'm sorry to say that it has been my life all to often). We tend to compartmentalize our lives. God has His place but it is not first place. We have a relationship with Him and not a moment by moment one.
I really believe that this man had a good relationship with God and is now in heaven. I just wish that fact had been mentioned more often in his funeral. Maybe we all need to have a little more God talk in our words. And I can surely say that I need to keep up my daily commitment to Christ, making sure that I am focusing on Him and serving Him. My friend's life of service is one that I want to emulate. But most of all, I want that service to issue out of a sincere personal relationship with the living God.