One of the most rewarding parts of my job takes place in places like today’s photo. Into the midst of uncertainty and grief, I get to bring a comforting word, and a reassuring presence. You will note that I don’t make everything “all better,” that is way beyond my pay grade! That is what Jesus was doing in our reading today. When he speaks of his burial, it isn’t a metaphor, it is real, and it changes everything… because it is not the end of the story.
This is a photo of my wife’s grandmothers burial. Grandma Great as she was called, was a hoot! She lived to a ripe old age, and this time on the day of the funeral, I didn’t say the words but heard them, the promise was there as it was for the hundreds of people I have buried. God’s promise comes to us in the waters of baptism when we are made members of God’s family. So all funerals are family funerals, rich or poor, old or young, tragic or peaceful, God’s grace rises like beautiful perfume filling us with life, hope and courage in Christ even in our tears.