Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
Because we do not have a minister conducting this service, I had not intended to include a sermon. In fact, I originally wrote the eulogy without a sermon. However, I am not going to let you off the hook that easily, and I am going to give a brief sermon.
Sometime between yesterday and today, a topic for a sermon came to me. The function of a sermon is to tell a story using some sort of analogy to put an idea into a different perspective and give us something to think about.
The topic of my sermon today is "Funerals… Why they are a sad event and why we feel so uncomfortable when we attend them."
There are some cultures where a funeral is considered a celebration or a happy event. Obviously, this is from the perspective of the deceased and not from the perspective of the mourners. If I took a poll here today, I think I would find that more people are sad than happy. I could also safely assume that, given a choice, this would not be the preferred event for today. I am sure nobody here woke up this morning saying, "What a nice day today. I would really like to go to a funeral."
Some of us are here because we are related to the deceased. Some are here because they are a friend or acquaintance of the deceased. Some here may not have even known my mother, but are here because they are a friend of my brother Ken's or a friend of mine and may have even suffered a similar loss and wanted to come to offer their condolences and give whatever comfort they could to their friend. I know it really means a lot to my brother and me that you came and that we have such wonderful friends who care about us and are sad when we are sad.
Why are we uncomfortable at funerals? Certainly we know that physical death is a part of the life cycle. We read about people dying in the papers every day. We may be sad for awhile ("Oh, what a shame that so many people died in that car accident") but soon the incident is forgotten and we do not give it another thought. After all, death is something that happens to somebody else.