by Christopher Harbin

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Funeral Service (8 of 13)
Series: Funeral Resources
Chris Harbin
Philippians 3:4b-12

Ernest ''Brother'' C. Fulcher

We gather here today to celebrate the life of Ernest C. Fulcher, or ''Brother'', as he was know to most. I did not know Brother, but I had heard more than one mention of him over the last month. On Sunday, we announced his birthday in church, along with a call for folks to visit him. Brother had been hoping to see his 97th birthday last Sunday. Apparently satisfied with that milestone, he passed away in peace.

Brother was a father, a husband, a grandfather, a cousin, and a friend. He was a World War II veteran, and many other things besides to different people. He leaves a hole in many of our lives with his death. We do not grieve so much for him. Brother died at peace after a long, full life. We do grieve, however, for ourselves and for what we have lost with his passing. Grief, after all, is about the loss each one of us experiences. It is our process to adjusting to the harsher realities of life-change, death, trauma, pain, and the loss of opportunity.

Grief and separation are required experiences in life. They are challenges to our sense of comfort and security. We grieve the small experiences of loss. We grieve the more traumatic experiences also. We look back upon what we have lost or laid aside. We evaluate what that loss means. Then we begin the process of rebuilding our lives in the knowledge of our loss. This rebuilding is a long process made more complicated by repeated experiences, each with a new sense of compounding loss.

Paul understood something of this need to get on with the task of rebuilding our lives in the light of loss. He did not ignore the past or the meaning of loss, however. Hear his words from Philippians 3:4b-12. Paul remembered clearly the former foundation of his life, based upon the shallow foundations of heritage and a righteousness based on works. On experiencing the grace of Christ Jesus, however, ...

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