Eulogies are not meant to be exhaustive summaries, but are more like snapshots of a life that paints a picture of who someone was and what they were like. Eulogies tell stories because every life is a story or rather several stories coming together in one person.
The theological question I have learned to ask myself as I prepare for a funeral is "In what ways did this individual reflect the image of God in the world?"
In Genesis women and men are created in God's image:
So God created humankind* in his image, in the image of God he created them;* male and female he created them (1:27).And then humanity is given its task in the world:
God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.' (1:28).In other words, because human beings are made in God's image, they are to stamp that image in this world. They are to reflect the character, the image of God in creation. Of course, we are cracked images. We fail to cast the image of God in a pure and pristine fashion. We fall short as God imagers; but since all persons are created in God's image they have the potential to reflect God's character in some way.
It seems to me that the task of the eulogy is paint a portrait of the divine image in that person's life. And in so doing, we can then get to the heart of what our life and witness are about-- reflecting the character of Jesus Christ in this world, who is in the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
Let us so reflect the image of Jesus in our lives, that it will be easy for someone to deliver our eulogy.