Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two Too Many

I've had two deaths and two funerals in my churches this past week. They both died early Monday morning. We got the first call at 4:20 and the next at 6:20 in the morning. There was a visitation Tuesday evening and a home visit following that.

Wednesday we had the first funeral service at St. Andrews UMC in Mt. Airy at 2:00 with the burial at the Altavista Memorial Park. I had retired Methodist pastor, Rev. Sam Caldwell assisting . He had been the pastor at St. Andrews UMC 40 years ago. We had a Gospel Music Singing Group, The Staunton River Boys sing during the service. When we left from the cemetery and headed to the 5:00 visitation at the funeral home in Brookneal. I'm learning some good shortcuts.

Thursday we had the funeral in Brookneal at the funeral home at 1:00, with the burial at the family cemetery in Republican Grove. We had blue grass music played at the funeral and it was perfect. There were 3 pastors doing the service. The two other pastors were both Baptist, but that didn't scare me much. They were Rev. Shelton Miles from Republican Grove Baptist, the church just across the street from Republican Grove UMC and Rev. Robert Watts, the former pastor at Millstone Baptist. I really appreciate these two brothers in the Lord, their willingness and availability. After the service at the cemetery, Joanne and I went and had some time with the family at their home (good fried chicken).

There is a line in the movie 'The Lord of the Rings", Bilbo says to Gandalf, "I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter spread scraped over too much bread". Today I understand exactly what he was saying. Bilbo and I are momentarily kindred spirits. It is at times like this that I realize just how much the Lord is my strength and how much of what I have been called to do is beyond mine.

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