If you attend First Baptist Bradenton, you are most likely aware my month’s sabbatical is fast approaching. What you may not know is what my month will entail or why a sabbatical is even taken. More about those questions later, but this video is a teaser to an answer.
Yesterday, we had a memorial service for a longstanding, faithful member of First Baptist. The service, which included selections of their favorite worship songs, was planned by him and his wife. After the service, his wife said, in thanking me for my part in the service, “That’s just what I needed. I hope those songs were okay, but they meant something to us.”
To be frank, who cares if people attending a memorial service have any offense to service choices. They mean something to you; that’s why you plan them ahead of time so they reveal what’s important, your values, your life.
I’ve blogged about this before, but it begs repeating. If you haven’t done this already, it’s time to think about helping your family out by planning your memorial service. That might mean not having one. It might mean a small gathering at a graveside. It might be a traditional church service. Whatever it might look like it in your head, that’s a problem. It’s only in your head. Speak it. Write it. Plan it.
My father died in 1980. I was 12. I can tell you off the top of my head two of the song selections, vocalists who sang, and who the two preachers were. Why? Because they were amazing? Because they are in a recording I’ve listened to? Nope. It’s because I knew that my dad planned it. Those songs, those singers, those speakers were his choosing.
Do everyone a favor. Get this done. Help them be able to say after your service, “That’s just what I needed.”
This is a good thing to say, to admit, and to do it often.
The link above is to a recording of the song the FBCBradenton choir did this morning in church. And here’s why I say God is smarter than I am.
This song, Mercy Tree, was slated to be done before or on Easter. We weren’t ready at that point, so we rescheduled it for today. In my head, it seemed like it could come across as a little too late, repetitive, whatever. And even at rehearsal Wednesday night, I still wasn’t sure we should do it. But God showed up this morning.
Not only did He get the glory through this song, but unbeknownst to me, it spoke to our guest speaker and went right along with his message.
So thank you, God. You are more than amazing. Always on time. Infinitely smarter.