Ms. B, a resident at one of the senior homes we hold Sunday services for, recently lost her mother. We got to know Ms. B over the past few months, and she asked us to help organize a memorial service. I had never led a memorial service before and really felt at a loss as to how I should conduct the service, but I knew that this would be very important for Ms. B. I knew that in order to console Ms. B and show our love and support, I really had to prepare well. I am thankful that while I was preparing for the message for the service God reminded me of another message I gave a few years ago when our church was doing regular visits to one of the nursing homes in Oakland, and the theme and the content of the message were suitable for the memorial service. As I was reviewing this message, I was very comforted by the timeless words of the bible passages I had quoted back then.
The service went smoothly and I overall felt very calm and confident while I was conducting the service. I felt that God was really there with me as I was determined to set aside my insecurity and focus on really giving a message of God’s comfort and hope to Ms. B and the friends who attended the service. After the service, the Ms. B genuinely thanked me and my wife Joy, as well as the rest of our group, for being willing to sacrifice our time and energy to do this service for her mother. One of the managers at the senior home also came up to us to thank us for so readily honoring Ms. B’s request. Later, Joy told me there was a young employee of the senior home who was watching and listening to our service from a distance for some time, and she was in tears as she listened to the message and the hymns we sang. This young employee reminded me that everyone has his or her own story, and everyone needs to be touched by God’s message of love and hope.
I thank God for using this memorial service to get me out of my comfort zone and stretch me. As I understood the importance of the memorial service, I had to really engage my heart with God as I did the preparation. The process of preparing the message prompted me to take His Word more seriously and indeed it was a great blessing God gave to me to again reflect upon God’s Word, to see how true and applicable it is to each one of us in this world. I am thankful for God’s using me as an instrument to minister to the elderly people in this way – I never thought I would be conducting a memorial service. When I look at myself, I really don’t have the qualification to be in such a position. But God has looked on me with mercy and has entrusted me with these people, so I commit to do my best to treasure such an entrustment.