So today… I attended a total stranger’s funeral by accident. More accurately, I joined the family and close friends in viewing the body before the funeral.Image result for denver cathedral funeral

It started pretty innocently. I wanted pictures of the Denver Cathedral’s interior. The front doors were locked, which seemed odd, but they are renovating, so when I found a sign that said “enter” around the side, I figured they were just detouring traffic for safety.

Once inside I made my way to the back, trying not to disturb the few who were sitting up front. I took a few shots, and then decided to check out the foyer before I left. As I began walking through the foyer, I noticed an odd shaped counter or alter or something that a very small group of people seemed to be congregating around. So I filtered into the small procession hoping to get another pic. About the time I reached it, two things happened simultaneously. 1, I noticed that the object was a casket and that the “head” of the casket was open for viewing. 2, I heard a gentleman a few steps in front of me say, “I’m sorry about your grandmother”.

At this point, I didn’t have a lot of good options. I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that a dumb tourist who didn’t get the hint that the cathedral was closed for a funeral had just crashed the family viewing. So I stayed in line. I paused reverently and crossed myself when I viewed the body and gave the family my condolences, before proceeding to the sanctuary and beating a hasty (but not obviously hasty) retreat whence I came.

Nobody asked who I was, but I’d already determined to tell them I was Frank’s nephew if they had. Nobody’s going to admit they don’t remember who Frank is at a funeral when relatives are coming out of the woodwork.

After my escape I went for some shawarma and looked up the funeral. The grandmother was an 85 year old former beauty named Frances, who was the first of her family to finish high school or go to college. She worked in the military, raised three over achievers, who all had over achieving children of their own. She seems to have been loved by all.

So to Frances, I’m sorry about the odd way we met…but I’m kinda glad I met you.

(Thank you Shane Halstead for the great story!)

In today’s message we look at a story where Jesus crashes a  funeral and changes everything:

Read the full sermon manuscript here:

  1. What crowd are you in right now?  

(The grievers or the Jesus followers?)

  1. In what ways do your actions and attitudes reflect or contradict your answer?
  2. What circumstances in your life right now move God with compassion?
  3. Read Luke 7:11-17
  4. Which of these three things need the most adjustment in your life?Resurrection life takes people from death to life.  
    • From pretending to praising
    • From hopeless to hopeful
    • From sorrowful to joyful

Spend time in prayer addressing these needs with the expectation that your prayers are being answered.