Funeral on Christmas Eve

I did a funeral today (Christmas Eve) at 9:00 in the morning because we had to be at the cemetery before 11:00. I have done over 100 funerals in my eight years of ministry and I keep thinking that they will get easier to do, but they don’t. Perhaps that is good; I would not want to be able to do them by rote.

Funerals are especially difficult to do when it appears the deceased did not know Christ. (Today’s funeral was for one who professed faith in Christ.) The sorrow of the unbeliever is different from the sorrow of believers. Both are sorrowful, but unbelievers are often deep in despair and it is difficult to extend any significant comfort them since the promises of God are for those in covenant with him.

What does one do in this situation? The same thing you do in any situation: preach Christ. (You must do this without preaching the deceased into heaven or hell.) It is difficult, but it is the preacher’s calling to preach Christ and to hold out faith in Christ as essential to receiving and resting in the promises of God.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Funeral on Christmas Eve

  1. Jeff K says:

    Hello pastor, I’m not certain my previous msg went through. I am grateful to God that I came across your page, it is an answer to prayer to have found an appropriate way to share Christ at an unbelievers funeral in a way that honors The Lord. May I also receive some sample funeral sermons via email?
    Thank you and God bless…Jeff

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