Saturday, 24 January 2009

Family Funeral and its Consequences

The last few days have been taken up with meeting with relatives from Frank's father's side of the family, who came down from the north of Germany for Ur-Omi's funeral. It has been a good time of reconnecting with them all and getting to know them better. I have appreciated this as the first time I met many of them, 15 years ago, I could speak very little German. It was a good time, and F's mum remarked on what a harmonious time it was, which, as some of the relatives have characteristics which have been known to create tension in the past, was somewhat unexpected. Certainly an answer to prayer. Thank you Lord! And thanks to those who may have been reading previously who prayed. Much appreciated. *

The one negative element was the oratory read by the Lutheran Pfarrer. He was the Pfarrer responsible for the spiritual welfare of the elderly people's homes in our area and as such, was responsible for taking the service at the cemetery.
He began by describing Ur-Omi as 'our sister in Christ', which she most certainly was not, either because she was herself no believer, (and we can only trust in God's perfect justice) or because the majority of those present, including himself, were not believers. With official Lutheran doctrinal certainty, he reassured everyone present by emphasising that since she had been sprinkled as a baby, she had been part of the Church, and her whole life had been a journey towards heaven, where she now undoubtedly was.
Any emotion I might have felt at seeing her coffin, flowers and words of sorrow on the ribbons decorating the bouquets vanished at hearing this litany of lies. I merely felt sorrow and anger and disgust that people were being so deceived.

Frank felt the same. Yesterday we paid a visit to the local government office and he officially left the Lutheran Church. He had been christened as a baby and since being a wage-earner has had to pay monthly taxes to the Church. To leave, he had to pay an administrative fee of 31 Euros and fill out a form with his personal details on it, as well as informing the tax office.
It has been something he has been seriously thinking about for several years, but he had never had the courage to do it, since leaving could, theoretically mean job repercussions. Several non- Christians (family) advised him against it, saying that they were afraid it would have negative consequences. He told them, however, that he has Someone looking after him, so he's not afraid. I am so proud of him.

* Incidentally, for those who happen to chance on this blog, I don't know necessarily who you are, but I pray for those represented by the red dots of the little map on the left-hand side! :)

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