I thought that title might get your attention. When it came to his funeral, my dad had one request of both my brother and: “Preach.” He didn’t want us to eulogize him. He wanted a sermon. He got it. 🙂
I returned on Saturday from our trip to Ontario after my dad’s funeral. Loosing both your parents is a strange kind of grief. I’m still in the midst of working through it and discerning what it means for me both personally and spiritually. However, this sermon was a big step along that journey for me and for my brother. As we heard after the service, it was also a large step for everyone in that packed house who congratulated us for the bravery of this proclamation, but more importantly, also told us they needed to hear it so badly in their own lives.
Those of you keeners out there will likely see the seeds of this sermon were planted on Advent III. In some ways, that was my first response to my grief while this sermon is the flushing out of that experience. It was a real challenge and joy to do this with my brother. On the audio you’ll hear how we wove this sermon together – working as one preacher in two voices.
Also included here are the liturgy and the photo tribute to Dad. I’ve had a number of folks asking if I might post it somewhere so they could see it and this seems to be as good a place as any.
Scroll down to see the liturgy, followed by a link to the Life in Pictured Moments, which is followed by an audio link to the readings and the sermon only.
Again, thanks you so much for your prayers and support. In coming back to work, my mailbox was still filled with cards and notes.
Celebrating the Life of
Rev. Bobby W. Fillier
“When I die and leave behind
This earth I love
These trees, this sky
The pounding sea
The yearly hope of spring
Cry not for me
My soul has wings
And in its freedom sings.” ~Author Unknown
“He whom we love and lose is no longer where he was before;
he is now wherever we are.” ~St. John Chrysotom
“Death is only an incident, and not the most important one which happens to us in the state of being … look forward, feel free, rejoice in life, cherish the children, guard our memory. God bless you.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill
Friends, hear these words of scripture;
may they bring comfort to you.
The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
God is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear?
God is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.