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Lessons from George H. W. Bush's Funeral

QUESTION: “What did you think about President George H.W. Bush’s Funeral?” 

ANSWER: A Few Thoughts About President Bush’s Funeral
Former U.S. #41 President George Herbert Walker Bush passed away Friday, November 30, 2018 in his 94
th year of life, having been born in 1924. In U.S. history, his was the 34th state funeral to be conducted in the nation’s capitol. After viewing in the Rotunda, his casket passed to the Washington National Cathedral for a Wednesday ceremony. Then Special Air Mission 41 (aka Airforce 1) flew his body and the family to Houston and “St.” Martin’s Episcopal Church and a Thursday funeral service. After a special train ride (Union Pacific #4141) to Spring, Texas, the trip ended at College Station, Texas, at the campus of Texas A&M University where the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum provided his final resting place beside wife, Barbara, and toddler, Robin. 

1. THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, either Constitutionally, legally, or practically! How could there be a “National Cathedral” unless there was a “national religion?” Religion was a backbone, a forming influence of the Founding Fathers: President George Washington and architect Pierre L’Enfant imagined a “great church for national purposes.” After the foundation stone, from Bethlehem, was laid in 1907, the Bethlehem Chapel hosted service in 1912. In 1928, President Calvin Coolidge opened the General Convention of the Episcopal Church at the Cathedral. It has hosted State Funerals, National Prayer Services, and Inaugurations. The work on its building took from September 29, 1907 till September 29, 1990. Its official name is “The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.” It is ironic that, to accompany the movement of President Bush’s casket in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Military Band, almost exclusively, played religious hymns, but in the service at “St.” Martin’s Episcopal Church, the church orchestra and chorus music was, almost exclusively, “national” and not “religious” in nature! The Military is religious, and a man-made Church is national! 

2. The “national religion” seems to believe that to be in God’s Heaven, one must be devoted to one’s country on Earth! True, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends” (John 15:13), but He also said, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). After He was raised from the dead, Jesus proclaimed, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). The only “kingdom” that God wants people in, is His! Being in God’s Kingdom is not a matter of just being a good person; choosing some of God’s commands; or being a patriot, servant or soldier for an earthly “kingdom;” however admirably we may view these. For Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (John 18:36). 

3. God’s Providence spares whom He will, and sets whom He will on a throne! George wondered why his life was spared in WWII, but the rest of his life and his family, explained that to us. Our lives, without his life, wouldn’t have been the same.

4. Heaven is not an extension of earthly life! No one goes to Heaven to continue life on Earth! Asked which brother would claim a wife in the resurrection, Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30). Earthly matters mean nothing in Heaven "where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). Life on Earth is to prepare for Heaven, because Heaven will not continue Earth! -----jjtpII 


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