Wednesday, 11 October 2006

In his 91st year

Today I will officiate at the funeral of a man who has been a member of this parish for many decades.
He is well over 90 and in the last few years has become increasingly debilitated.
Though married for over 50 years, he and Edna had no children.
Yet Tom ran a very effective youth program for many years which has been influential in the life of many.

Tom Crowle was a fine though not perfect man

I am aware that times he could be extraordinarily difficult.

We all can!

Things don’t always go the way we want

because they can’t

and we don’t control our destiny.

If we think that security will come from developing mechanisms

to control everything about our life

then death disabuses us of that notion.

For Christians

we are reminded that our security comes from Christ alone.

This Tom knew, and took seriously.

The image that our true life is like being grafted into a vine

is a good one.

We draw our life from being in relationship with Christ.

As all our securities,

our parents, our wife, our work, our health, our youth

are stripped away

we need to realise that only Christ will bring the sort of security

that we crave for.

A funeral might remind us of this reality.

We might also note

that there is an invitation

to respond to Christ NOW

rather than leaving it to the very end of our life.

Tom, knew something of that reality.

He has begun to respond to Christ

He recognised many years ago

that being grafted into Christ

was the way to go.

He was keen to share that with others.

To some young people

he offered a gift for which a number are profoundly grateful

To others it was a hand of friendship

it was rolling up the sleeves and getting alongside

To all of us today

as a death causes us to reflect on our own mortality:

How some things are more important

and some things less important

when we come to weigh up our lives,

his death speaks to us and invites us to respond to Christ now.

If today you hear this invitation

then open your heart to receive the gift of life

that Christ is offering you

not just in death.

But in life.

Here, Today, Now.


tim said...

sounds like an interesting chap

stephen clark said...

yes, he was. He could be a bit testy, but quite mentally alert to the end.

fiona said...

What beautiful words,a wonderful message! Did you read this at his funeral? Just lovely.

stephen clark said...

Yes, the last part is the homily from the service.