I have to conduct a funeral service tomorrow afternoon. It's not for one of the St Silas' Church family. A colleague asked me to step in, as she is on holiday this week.
I don't have to do many funerals. It's one of the benefits of having a youthful congregation. The last few that I've had to do were for people who we've had some contact with intially through Glasgow City Mission. Then they've started being part of St Silas'. Sadly, their deaths have been caused by heroin. It truly is a scourge in this city and denies people the potential that is in them.
The last longstanding member of the church to die was Mrs Bogle last January, who was another real gem of a woman and a lovely saint. Sadly I was in the US of A, but a colleague who knew her and the family well stepped in.
I never met the person whose life we will remember and give thanks for tomorrow. He had been a rock of the church when younger, and it sounded as if he was someone worth knowing. I hate going to funerals where the minister clearly didn't know the person, yet acts as if he or she did. That is not something I do. It's often good if a family member or friend can give a eulogy, but sometimes it is just too difficult.
It is always a privilege to sit with bereaved families as they share their sadness and joys. Please do pray that this family is comforted by what we share together tomorrow and that the hope of Jesus Christ is communicated clearly.