Friends, family, celebrities, former presidents, former first ladies, and first lady Melania Trump gathered Saturday for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush. Over 1,500 people crowded into Houston’s St Martin’s Episcopal Church to sing, pray, and hear eulogies and Scripture readings.
Bush’s granddaughters read Scripture to commemorate her life, faith, and future hope. Elizabeth Dwen Andrews began with a reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1-14.
 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
 What gain has the worker from his toil?  I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;  also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.
Next, Noelle Lucila Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Marshall Lloyd Bush Rossi, Nancy LeBlond Sosa, Ashley Walker Bush and Georgia Grace Koch each read from Proverbs 31:10-31.
 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Barbara Pierce Bush closed with a reading from 2 Corinthians 4:17-5:9.
 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
[5:1] For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,  if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.  For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,  for we walk by faith, not by sight.  Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Bush’s son and former Florida governor Jeb Bush eulogized his mother and recalled one of their last conversations. She told him, “Jeb, I believe in Jesus and he is my savior. I don't want to leave your dad but I know I'll be in a beautiful place.”
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: April 24, 2018