Reflections Along the Jesus Way

September 10, 2023 – Quote for the Day:

“I’m reminded of the story of two brothers – both of whom were rich, but they were rich because they were lying, corrupting, cheating businessmen.  They made sure to attend the right church in town – the one that all the bankers and town leaders attended.  Their pastor, however, could see right through the brothers’ deceptive ways.

One day one of the brothers died.  The other brother went to see the pastor about the funeral.  He said, ‘Pastor, I know you don’t think much of my brother – or me for that matter.  Here’s what I am going to do.  I will write you out a check, a donation to the church, for $50,000.  I’ll write this check if, when you preach his funeral, you will say my brother was a saint.

The pastor agreed, deposited the check, and prepared his sermon for the funeral.  The surviving brother assumed that the pastor had accepted the bribe and there would be no embarrassment at the funeral.

At the funeral, the brother of the deceased sat on the front row, along with the rest of the family.  The pastor was candid and truthful as he spoke about the deceased.  ‘He was an evil man. He lied, he cheated, he was a drunk’ – and continued, for some time, to list many of the sins of the deceased.  But then, he concluded with the following, which ensured the donation to the church would not be in danger – ‘But compared to his brother, he was a saint.’

Many years ago I learned that funeral sermons are not about the pastor or preacher trying to preach the deceased into heaven – or trying to preach them into hell.” 

Originally published in:

Spiritual Soup for the Hungry Soul, Volume 1


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