I was conducting a funeral a couple of years ago and noticed several people were stopping by the casket to take a picture of themselves and the deceased – a “selfie” in other words. It wasn’t a solemn occasion; they were smiling, laughing and doing various hand gestures. All the while, the deceased was lying there in the casket. I spoke with the funeral director and asked him if this was some sort of new trend. He replied, “Oh yeah. Happens at every funeral now. There’s no respect for the person nowadays. Young people have just lost all sense of respect.” My reply to him was, “It’s not just young people. People in general have lost respect.” Have you noticed this as well? It seems there are no polite disagreements anymore – it’s either agree or it’s war.
In church, sometimes we mistake “respect” for “submission.” Respect means that we can disagree with each other as long as we are polite and not mean-spirited. The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians said, “But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.” So let us respect one another – then they will know that we are Christians not only because of our love, but also because of our respect for all.
This blog consists of reflections written by the minister each week for the Sunday bulletin. We hope that you enjoy the musings!