Phones at Funerals

I recently took a funeral. Good practice demands that owners of mobile phones (which now usually means anyone under the age of 85) be reminded to turn them off or place them in silent mode. I double checked my own; it would certainly be embarrassing to be exposed as one not taking one’s own advice.

In the middle of my simple sermon on Ecclesiastes 12, I heard a loud voice speaking from my pocket. It was my phone. “Who on earth is that?” I thought, quickly calculating whether it was worth turning it off or ignoring. I had left open an email from the funeral director asking me to announce at the close where the wake was to be held, and this my phone proceeded to read aloud, despite being ‘on silent’. Had I been able to throw that phone in a pond or under a heavy goods vehicle, I would have done so. I quickly turned it off, apologising to the congregation, some of whom apparently appreciated some light relief from Solomon’s admonishment. Right there, in the middle of a funeral, I learned that my phone can read emails out loud, though I would struggle to know how to do it again.

If phone technology increasingly amazes me (irritates would be the more accurate verb) with its ever-expanding capabilities, so too my own propensity to break God’s moral laws. How anyone can get to their thirties and not appreciate and endorse the doctrine of man’s depravity is a mystery. Yet a greater awareness of my heart’s depths only helps me better appreciate Christ’s great mission and the Father’s love which launched it. If a phone dares to interupt a sermon, how much more the fallen hearts with silent thoughts of dinner, football, politics and pride? 

In heaven there will be no fallen hearts, and no mobile phones either, thank God. 

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay