Most preachers I know say they would rather preside over ten funerals than one wedding. Brides-to-be and mothers of brides-to-be make most weddings miserable for a pastor. The exception to that rule is the funeral of an unbeliever. Few exercises are more difficult for a minister than dancing around the reality of a pagan grandfather's final resting place. The pastor wants to give comfort to a grieving family while the prophet wants to warn those left behind to change their ways before their fate is similarly sealed.
I attended one such funeral yesterday. The preacher did an admirable job. His opening line was "_______ loved nature. _______ loved people." What a tragedy. God forbid that someone could ever say of me, "Frank loved nature, and Frank loved people," without being able to say, "Frank loved Jesus."
You can love nature all you want. You can be everyone's friend of years and friend of tears. But, if you don't love Jesus, death is no welcome friend.
I desperately hope that, sometime during our recently departed friend's brief illness, he was able to connect with Christ in a redemptive way. I don't know if he did; I guess I won't know until I meet Jesus face to face. I do know this: I'm not going to wait. I'm pleading the blood of Christ today and everyday. I count on Jesus' mercy and grace to forgive my sin.
When some pastor (perhaps my son) sermonizes on my burial day, it will be the easiest funeral he has ever preached. "Frank loved Jesus; he loved his family; Frank is in Heaven. Now let's go back to the church and eat ham and scalloped potatoes."