Pause with Pastor Joel – November 15, 2022

It’s only been a little over a week since we celebrated the life of the wonderful church member, Chuck Maki.
So often, people say to me after a funeral, “I don’t know how you do it?”
Well, let me tell you. Preparing to celebrate someone’s life in a meaningful way for me is two-fold.
First, it’s about knowing Scripture. One can’t celebrate a Christian’s life outside or away from Scripture. In order to celebrate any life, one has to know Scripture deeply. What it says, what it promises, its stories,  and its truths. This is imperative. Again, there is no way to celebrate a Christian’s life away from or apart from Scripture. So you have to know Scripture.
That’s because the second part of this two-fold way for me to create a meaningful celebration of life is that I look for each person’s life in Scripture.
One of the truths of Scripture is that we are made in the image of God. That means that it’s not hard to see glimpses of someone’s life in Scripture. If you can hear about their life and connect it to Scripture, it’s very easy to celebrate their life in a way that people will find unique and meaningful.
Again, all you have to do is know Scripture and see the person in Scripture. To put it another way, you have to know God and then see God in that person.
These are the two things I think about as I look to mark someone’s life. “How do I do it?” It’s incredibly easy, actually, because one can find each person in Scripture because each of us is God’s child and part of God’s creation and part of God’s story and so if we look to God’s story in Scripture, there we are. Scripture is not something separate from us, we are a part of it, just as we are part of God’s story and God’s creation.
That’s how I do it. With Scripture. With God.

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