“You’re not preaching your father’s funeral sermon!”
That was the reaction of a number of people when they asked about the service and I told them Amy was going to preach. I’m not sure why there was that response, but I know why I didn’t preach and Amy did.
She was my Dad’s pastor. I am his son. I think that was the way both he and I wanted it to be. We all have different roles to play in life, and Martin Luther’s understanding of Christian vocation helps make that clear. There are some things I will never be able to do for someone, that another person can. Amy was my Dad’s pastor, so it fell to her to preach.
As important, if not more so, is that I know there is a time for someone to speak, and a time for someone to listen. And I knew that at my Dad’s funeral it was important for me to listen to someone else tell me what it means (not just “meant” but “means”) that God loves my Dad, and that God loves us.
It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who wrote in his book Life Together “The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to them. We need each other solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in my own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of my brother or sister; my heart is uncertain, my sister or brother’s is sure.”
Not only am I grateful that day there was an opportunity for me to be my Dad’s son; but that my sister in Christ spoke a Word I and many others were blessed to hear.