CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
My new year’s resolution is to get ready to die. I have no reason to expect that event is soon, but it’s getting closer, so it’s time to get ready.
Paul Tournier, the Swiss physician, said: “You are never too young or too old to give your life to Christ. After that, what else is there to do to prepare to die?” Well, there is one other thing, choosing the music for your funeral.
I have heard some unusual music at funerals, but some of the songs I would like at my funeral are not really appropriate for a church service, and even if they were, there would not be enough mourners to sing them, or nearly enough time to sing or play them all.
But if there could be singing at the church for my funeral, I would choose: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness [By my friend, Jim Manley, #2221 in The Faith We Sing]. For All the Saints. When We All Get to Heaven. I’ll Fly Away. I Love To Tell the Story. Are Ye Able. We Shall Overcome. He Keeps Me Singing [There’s Within My Heart a Melody]. The Holy City. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. I Shall Not Be Moved. Oh Freedom. Let Us Break Bread Together. [My family should not try to sing this, since they crack up every time they hear it, remembering the time during family devotions that I intoned, “When I fall on my face with my knees to the rising sun…”] Lord of the Dance.
Singing all those would take about a week. The next week, I’d like for everyone to gather outdoors, maybe at the old, restored Crosley Field, and sing the songs that, along with the church songs, make up my soundtrack:
Red River Pirates [A song grandson Joseph and I created to the tune of Red River Valley]. The IU Alma Mater [Come and join in song together…] and Fight Song [Indiana, our Indiana…]. Take Me Out to The Ball Game. The Powdermilk Biscuit Song or the Prairie Home Companion theme song [Oh, hear that old piano…]. Moments to Remember. Halls of Ivy. Love Letters in the Sand. Back Home Again in Indiana. Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance. The Entertainer. The Great Pretender. Deep Purple [Inexplicably, the song I was listening to when God spoke out of the burning phonograph and said, “No more excuses; you’re going to be a damn preacher!”] 500 Miles Away from Home. Pachabel’s Canon. Stand By Me. Stardust. Try To Remember.
So, when you hear that my funeral is on, hum a bar or two of one of those, will you? That will make it a great funeral.
Okay, now I’m ready.
John Robert McFarland
I tweet as yooper1721.