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Rite of Christian Burial

During my lunch hour, I watched the John Lewis funeral. I was a huge fan of Rep. Lewis. His faith. His principles. His life’s work. I returned to my office and put it on television with low sound to keep an ear out for the tributes. Candidly, I was disappointed. You see, the funeral of a Southern Baptist is primarily a religious event, and as such the focus of the funeral service should be on the role of God in the life of the deceased and preparing the deceased’s soul to be reunited with God. It is known as the Rite of Christian Burial. While not a sacrament in the Roman Rite sense, it is sacramental … or sacred to Christians and more particularly that faith community. Typically, Southern Baptists relegate any fraternal, civil, political or military rites or tributes to the viewing rather than at the funeral. But, that didn't happen here despite the fact that there has been a lot of that kind of time.

But, it seemed to me to be more about politics … which I think is a shame given the paramount role his faith played during his life. It made him who he was. It informed his decisions. It directed his work. It made everyone who knew him better for it. His faith and the love it engendered was the genesis of that indescribable quality he had … of inspiring peace and patience and love in the middle of any and every storm without diminishing his tenacity or purpose.

I can appreciate why Democrats were confused about what was expected of them … and the lack of sensitivity to and the inability of the past presidents to put the person and the place above their politics and themselves. You see, politics is the religion of the left. They proved it once again yesterday when they turned the Rite of Christian Burial into a political rally to further their own agenda ... while disregarding God's.

May God have mercy on all our souls.


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