Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Matthew 8 : 21 – 22
One of the most painful aspects of this pandemic for many people has been the restrictions on funerals. Normally when someone passes we hold service for all of their friends and loved ones to gather together and celebrate their life. But for the past 3 months funerals have been restricted to 6 mourners and all the usual wakes and receptions have had to be cancelled.
While it has been hard, thousands of families have done the right thing by respecting the restrictions. Their sacrifice has helped keep the virus from spreading and saved many other families from experiencing their own tragedy. We should all be grateful to the families who gave up the funeral they would have wanted to have in order to serve a greater cause.
In these times, I think Jesus’s words in this passage make a bit more sense. His words are undeniably harsh: if you want to follow me then you’ll miss your father’s funeral. But what Jesus was saying was there can’t be any excuses, if you’re going to follow me it has to be right now. If you are serious about joining me on the journey, a journey that ultimately will lead to the cross, you have to be willing to sacrifice and endure hardship.
Doing the right thing sometimes involves very personal sacrifices, sacrifices that require real courage to make. But we do so remembering that we follow a God who in generous love was willing to sacrifice himself for us.
Prayer: Lord we remember in my prayers all the mourning families today, families know to us and those unknow. Be with them in their grief and bring them comfort in these uncertain times. We are grateful for the sacrifices they have made, and pray that they will in time be able to properly mark the passing of their loved one.
Action: What small sacrifice could you make today? You could sacrifice some time for a loved one, sacrifice some money by donating it to a cause, or some other sacrifice that will benefit another.