It is better to be in the house of mourning than a house of mirth says Ecclesiastes. I attended a funeral service this afternoon in my home church for the wife of a prominent politician who passed away last Friday. She was 63 but struggled valiantly over 10 years of illness. It was also the first time I met this friend of mine in 10 years. He was an elder when I was pastor 15 years ago. I was praying whole day what I would say to him when I saw him. At the end he started asking where I was based and I told him in Namaus and he said he would love come to visit and see what he could do for the College. I said, “Please come.” And I gave him a hug and called him “brother”.
I felt I needed to show him I cared as a Christian brother and I regarded him as my brother in Christ. Later when I reflected on the events of the afternoon I realised it was what the Lord wanted me to say to him “brother”. I believe in the heart of every believer we want to serve the Lord. Some choose politics and some choose to be pastors. A prominent pastor gave words of comfort or the funeral homily and I saw a number of city pastors. Again it is a choice accroding to one’s calling. Some choose to serve the rich and mighty but I choose to serve the lowly and poor. I don’t think my denomination can find someone to teach in my College with my qualifications and experience with three times the salary. I lined up just like the 1,000 people who turned up to give their last respects and a senior church leader talked with me and called me, “guru” or teacher. But I said please don’t call me guru perhaps a reference to Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees who loved honour and honorific of a rabbi or teacher. When he asked me why the senior leaders were not present I said in times of grief such as these it is time for reconciliation and peace like Esau and Jacob who came together to bury their father.