Meridian Star

April 6, 2013

From the Shepherd's heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. — Psalm 32:1 (NKJV)



Recently, I had someone approach me in the funeral home and ask, “Who should I see? I am supposed to be a pallbearer.”

    While directing the young man to a funeral director, I wondered, “Does he know what a ‘pallbearer is?’”

    A simple definition is that a pallbearer carries the pall. That produces another question, “What is a pall?” A pall is the covering of the casket. So, the pallbearers carry the casket covering.

    The significance of the pall may stand in question as well. Often we see flowers as the covering displaying favorite flowers of the deceased. Sometimes we see an American flag celebrating a veteran who has served our country in the past.

    Originally, the pall was the flag or covering of the church celebrating that this person is covered by the church.

    In our society, flowers represent the pall. A pall of flowers indicates the love of the family for the person deceased. The family’s pall ultimately drapes over the grave to add beauty and inspiration.

    The American flag encourages patriotism. Our hearts stir and all in uniform come to attention as the flag moves by in procession.

    The church’s pall indicated the deceased was in good standing and approved by the church for acceptance and entrance into heaven. While in the church facility, the church’s pall would be draped over the casket of the saint who had died.

    Flowers and flags are inspiring, but the covering I cherish most is the covering from the Lord. Approval of the church is desired. Admiration from the family is cherished. But, the Lord covering my sin is priceless. Only Jesus can provide the covering that lasts forever.

    When six “pall bearers” assist in my funeral, and I hope it is not soon, I want my covering to be the love of Jesus! Flags and flowers are great to see on this side of life. But, the only covering that crosses over with us is the forgiveness of Christ of our sins!



    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.