Get your house in order! by Bishop Mark Nicholson

Death. It’s a subject most people avoid. However, the reality is that all of us are going to die one day. It’s one appointment that cannot be cancelled. It may be delayed, but it won’t be denied. It’s the result of Adam’s sin.

We may not have much control over when we leave this planet, but we do have a say in how we leave, and the impact it will have on our families. When King Hezekiah became terminally ill, the prophet Isaiah said to him:

“THIS IS WHAT THE LORD says: ‘Put your affairs in order, for you are about to die’”(2 Kings 20:1), and he certainly took advantage of his second chance. Likewise Abraham: his sons had an awkward reunion at their father’s funeral, but he made sure he had it all prearranged (Genesis 25).

As a local minister, the real difficulties happen when families don’t have anything in place to meet the expenses of a funeral. They leave it to other family, friends and the church to help with the expenses, and there is the added pressure to have one of the best funerals in town, just to “save embarrassment” by giving the dearly departed a good send-off. In many cases, not even a will has been left behind to take care of their estate… Personally speaking, this is not right. WE NEED TO GET OUR HOUSE IN ORDER.

The consequences are there is often the inheritance of a heavy direct debit for the next few years to pay off the funeral expenses.

There are many things to think about and decide when arranging a funeral: the cost, using the right director and third party costs. Recent figures show that a funeral using a funeral director costs on average £3,675.00. For example, the cost of a coffin can range from as little as £100 to as much as £10,000. There are cars, flowers, counselling and booklets, etc – all of which can add to the cost of even the most basic of funerals.

Wouldn’t it be better to plan and save for your funeral NOW?  In this way, your children or family won’t have to figure out a plan and find the money to pay for your burial or cremation. Just as many families prepare for the arrival of a new baby, practical preparations for departure are just as important. What a responsibility for a grieving family coming to terms with the loss of their dearly departed, and then having to make arrangements such as these!

Many funeral directors offer plans to suit every pocket, ranging from 5-year plans with investments to lifetime plans at small amounts, with a guaranteed lump sum to go towards the costs.

Now here’s something…Did you know we sleep for one third of our lives, so if you lived, say, 75 years, that’s 25 years asleep (or 9,125 days), and when that final day comes, you sleep in a very expensive coffin, and the bed you’ve slept in over your lifetime costs just a fraction of that expensive coffin.  To me, that just doesn’t make sense! Enjoy the comfort of an expensive bed now, and live your life now.  Life doesn’t wait until you’re dead.

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