U is for Undertaker

Once again I have picked a theme for the A to Z Challenge. This time I aim to entertain rather than to educate. My theme is careers or occupations. I begin with a piece of creative writing.

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Ursula and Uriah are undertakers (morticians). They provide a necessary service to their community, preparing corpses for burial or cremation. They also support bereaved families by guiding them through the logistics on the day of the funeral. In our culture they arrive usually with one or more black cars for the immediate family, which follow the hearse. They carefully arrange the floral tributes on top of the coffin (casket) and show respect to the deceased and to the mourners. During the service they unobtrusively ensure that everything is in the correct place and provide practical support to the person conducting the service, whether it is a faith-based or secular one. Their work is not limited to the day of the funeral. They have all sorts of administrative duties to perform. Sometimes they return to a graveyard later for burial of the ashes. People’s personal preferences have to be honoured.

Further reading: Undertaker

Jesus Christ surprised a funeral procession. What happened? Luke 7:11-16

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Uzziah

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One of the best known passages in the Old Testament is in the book of the prophet Isaiah. It begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died”. Isaiah 6:1

Who was King Uzziah?

He is referred to by three different names. He was King Azariah, crowned at the age of sixteen years. 2 Kings 14:21. He is also known as Ozias, the name by which he is listed in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:8-9 in the KIng James Version of the New Testament..

What else is known about Uzziah?

His reign was over Judah during the time that Israel and Judah were separate kingdoms.

He was one of the “good” kings, recorded as having rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah.  He also carried out other building projects.

He reigned for 52 years. At first he looked to the Lord for guidance and God gave him success. However, his success in war made him powerful and proud. 2 Chronicles 26 gives a potted history of his life. His disobedience had physical consequences. He had leprosy from the time of his disobedient act to the end of his life.

His reign overlapped with the life of prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.)

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

 I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My U post for 2013 ends with Uzziah. For more about Kings and Questions, please see my earlier posts for this year’s challenge.