Yesterday, the citizens of the United States were given a wonderful gift by President George H.W. Bush, his family, and the media outlets that carried his state funeral live from the National Cathedral in Washington. We were given church.
As I watched the funeral (on two different and usually antagonistic news channels) at the local YMCA along with ten or so other exercisers who were watching while working out on various machines, I couldn’t help but wonder how many millions of other people were also doing so. I realized that this may have been one of the largest audiences of worshipers (I hope they had that experience, even if they thought of themselves as merely spectators) ever to simultaneously hear song, scripture, sermon, and eulogies, and to be given the opportunity to reflect upon the values that President Bush held dear, and by which he lived.
Some may have found the Episcopalian worship traditions formal and stilted (our Anglican brothers and sisters would say “dignified and beautiful”), but there was a sense of the Divine, and the opportunity to be moved. Thank you to all who made this possible for us.
Regardless of political party, one could not help but be reminded of some important things – things we who are Christian know to be important, and which we hope guide our lives, as well. And what a wonderful time of year to be reminded of these things, as people around the world prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, in whom salvation is found.
Thank you, President Bush, for living a life of faith. Thank you, Bush family, for helping us to see and remember the importance of faith, love, devotion, humility, courage, and hope. We went to church with you yesterday, and I’m happy we did.