Many people have planned their own funeral, but perhaps the most notable was Winston Churchill, who gave clear instructions for what he wantd. There were stately hymns in St. Paul’s Cathedral and an impressive liturgy. When they said the benediction, he had arranged for a bugler high in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral on one side to play Taps, the universal signal that the day is over.
But when that was finished, there was a long pause and then a bugler on the other side played Reveille, the signal of a new day beginning. It was Churchill’s way of communicating that while we say “good night” here, it’s “good morning” up there. That’s impressive, but there is something even more so.
While most of us don’t actually plan our funeral, there is a sense in which we all preach our own funeral sermon. Although our lifeless body lies beneath the sod we speak loud and clear from the grave. What we are speaks much more powerfully than what anyone could say about us after we are gone. The manner of our life is our message to the world. We need to think about what it says. Will it convey Christ, testify to your trust in Him, picture peace, hold hope?
They will bury your body, but your influence will live on. Like an invisible hand, the touch of your life will continue to guide those left behind. Although your voice has been silenced by the cold hand of death you will speak from the grave. No doubt some preacher will speak about you, friends and family might eulogize you, but it is what you say that matters the most. And remember, it shall be an indelible message, written in stone as it were. There will be no second chances, revisions, or do-overs. What’s done will be done. All the flowery phrases, exaggerated stories, and glowing compliments that put you in the best possible light will never erase the record of a life ill-spent. It is the story of your life, for good or bad, that matters most. It is the truth about you. What will it be?
Looking back over the years, I still receive instruction and inspiration from dear souls who have gone before. The mere mention of their name tells their story over again. It is more than a precious memory, it is a lesson on living. A life well-lived is a gift that keeps on giving long after the life has ceased. It is a way of out living yourself. So. what shall your story be? Think about it! –HDS