Thursday, 14 May 2015

A legacy?

This week I've had the privilege of attending what can only be described as a great funeral. Although it is said, even among Christians, I don't hear this enough so I thought I'd promote the idea a little more.
Why 'great'? At the end of the day, quite literally, a great funeral has little to do with the eloquence of those speaking, or the quality of the music (where did you get that tape at the crematorium from!?), but the quality of the person's life for whom we shared genuine thanksgiving and not  a few tears.
I thank God for knowing Gordon Netcott. The fruitfulness of his life will continue to be seen in the lives of the many people who gathered this week. I noticed, in particular, the number of men who travelled back to Bristol to be present. Gordon was a huge encouragement to many young men. After he went self-employed he often gave work to people during holidays, or in need of some help. His care and responsibility for providing a good job ensured their lack of experience was never evident.
It was said there were few who had had work done in their homes who hadn't called upon Gordon at some stage. That represents a few hundred people. Gordon never advertised, he never needed to. He often charged 'God's rates', which meant nothing, or very little.
Two guys spoke, both as it happens very eloquently, but from their hearts. One now in his forties, another in his seventies, talked about Gordon as being a father to them. That was it. He was a spiritual father to I don't know how many, but he gave something out for which there is a desperate need. 
Gordon was ever ready to speak about Jesus. An instinctively shy man, he lived out and shared his gratitude for the way Jesus welcomed him 'back into the fold' after straying away from God for a season in his earlier life. His words from his own message, written shortly before he died and read out on Tuesday. Because Gordon wrote them people knew he was serious when he urged everyone to make sure they knew the direction of their life was following Jesus before they separated that day. I hope and pray everyone will reflect on his life and then act on his deepest desire for them.
A great funeral. A life well lived. A friend we are less for not having with us.

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