Last month I attended five funerals - of five men.
Two died suddenly, without warning.
One of them, in his sixties, was still jogging the week before the heart attack took him.
Two struggled with long illnesses but knew the Lord before they passed away.
The last one, the grandpa of one of my students, was the only non-believer.
But his funeral was also the most unforgettable.
It was a Hindu ceremony.
At the last rites, the deceased's three sons had to make a final journey around his coffin.
One of them, in white robes, carried a clay water-jug that was filled to the brim, on his shoulder.
The three men had to walk around the coffin three times. At the beginning of each round, the water-jug was slightly cracked by the priest to allow water to leak out.
Then at the end of the walk, the jug was suddenly dropped to the ground.
A hundred broken pieces of clay and water splashed all over the floor spoke vividly of the fragility of life, and the finality of death.
That day I turned my mind to Eccl 12:6 where we're told that there comes a time for every man when "the pitcher by the well isshattered and "the wheel at the cistern is crushed"; and man returns to his eternalhome and faces his Creator.
But before that day arrives, which will come surely, andoften without warning, let us live and love well.
Let us enjoy the people God has blessed us with, and be faithful to the task He has called us to.