08 Apr A Funeral To Die For!
What if you died … and 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 people showed up for your funeral? What of people in sleeping bags and 24 hour waits reminiscent of the Rose Parade on Colorado Blvd.? Except that instead of waiting for a parade of floats, they’re waiting to get a glimpse of your remains instead?
It happened in Rome this week folowwing the death of Pope John Paul II. Did you catch any of it? Absolutely amazing! A good friend of mine, Pastor Bernie Federmann from Lompoc Foursquare Church in Lompoc, CA, wrote,
“I encourage all of you to pray for the Catholic Church – the Priests and Parishes nearest you and to pray for the selection of the new Pope. The Catholic Church is filled with many fine people who truly know and love Jesus and who are truly born again. They deserve our prayers and comfort at this time. God will use your efforts of grace and mercy to touch lives for Him. God Bless the Catholic Church – Guide them, touch them, reveal in fresh ways your Son, Jesus to them. May they see beyond the candles, the traditions, cathedrals, human leaders and have an encounter with the Savior. May we all, see Jesus and serve Him.”
I agree with my friend! While we all may share different opinions about the Catholic Church and the place of her Pope in their theology, one thing rings true this week: Pope John Paul II was a man who loved and served God with all his heart, and it showed. It showed not just for the last decades, but was glaring this week in the affection of those who waited to pay their respects.
Now, I know that many of those who waited did so out of religious obligation, at least in their own thinking and beliefs. However, it’s clear through the many comments and tributes paid by so many who knew him personally and worked alongside him that the respect shown him this week came from what he invested in this life.
When we pass from this life to the next, what will the crowds say? Lord, may we live in this life in ways that cause people to reflect deeply when we’re in the next!