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Summary: Funeral message for Mr. David Broadnax, a Broadway actor and filmmaker, who died in Spain. He was the brother of one of our members, who requested that we do the funeral.

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I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.

Our lives are journeys, with a beginning and a destination. Many roads can be used to take those journeys. There are two great questions about that journey. One is, “Do you know the way home?” And the other is, “Who will be your companions?”

If you are looking for an image through which you can understand life, look no further than the image of a journey. Charles Kuralt gives us a thousand memorable images “On the Road”. The poet Robert Frost speaks of two roads diverging in a yellow wood, and, because he chose the one less traveled by, that has made all the difference. The inner life guru Scott Peck then goes on to write eloquently of The Road Less Traveled. My bookshelves contain titles like The Road to Inner Peace, Highway to Happiness, and Tracks of a Fellow Struggler. There is no better image than the image of a journey by which to understand life. For …

Our lives are journeys, with a beginning and a destination. Many roads can be used to take those journeys. There are two great questions about that journey. One is, “Do you know the way home?” And the other is, “Who will be your companions?”

The Bible too is replete with this image. There is Abraham, called by God to leave his father’s house and to go to a land which he had never seen, there to settle and found a nation. Before he could found a nation, there was a journey. There is Moses, leading God’s people out of bondage; but before he could lead them from Egypt, he had himself to travel to another land, he had to journey to Pharaoh’s court, and when the moment of exodus came, it led to a generation of wandering in the wilderness. A wearying, tiresome, long, and dangerous journey. But one in which the same great questions are raised, for …

Our lives are journeys, with a beginning and a destination. Many roads can be used to take those journeys. There are two great questions about that journey. One is, “Do you know the way home?” And the other is, “Who will be your companions?”

Without question, the greatest traveler of the New Testament is the apostle Paul. He criss-crossed the Mediterranean world, planting new churches, admonishing the wayward and encouraging the weak. His missionary journeys are classics, which we study even today in order to understand how to invest our time and our energies. We study Paul, the great traveler, who seemed to understand how to make the most of a journey, how to get where you want to go and do there what you want to do.

Most of us are challenged by that, aren’t we? We aren’t so sure about our journeys. Paul said in one of his letters, “This one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind, I press forward toward the goal.” But so far from being able to say, “This one thing I do …”, most of us have to confess, “These many things I dabble in.” We are not as focused as he. We don’t always know where we are going. It might be said of us, as someone said of Christopher Columbus, that when he set out, he didn’t know where he was going; when he arrived, he didn’t know where he was (he thought he was near India), and when he got home, he didn’t know where he had been!

Maybe so. Probably that’s right. And yet, with all of that, I would argue again …

Our lives are journeys, with a beginning and a destination. Many roads can be used to take those journeys. There are two great questions about that journey. One is, “Do you know the way home?” And the other is, “Who will be your companions?”

Paul set out for Spain. He knew that he wanted to preach there and to establish churches. Spain was the farthest the ancient mind could stretch, it was as far west as anyone knew about. On the maps they would write, out to the west of Spain, “Ne plus ultra” -- no more beyond. Spain had captured Paul’s heart. There he would push the boundaries and expand the envelope of his own experience. And there he would take the gospel of Christ. How would he get there? He was not sure. He only knew that he would have to go by way of Rome, for all roads led to Rome. And so to the Christians in Rome, whose support he needed, Paul wrote the magnificent letter from which we have read today. For Paul knew …

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Steve Andrews

commented on Apr 9, 2013

This sermone was ery helpful in preparing a message for a non believer and a non believing family. Thank you.

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