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Summary: Funeral message that focuses on the hope of John 11.

Funeral Message

January 7, 2001

Welcome and Prayer

Good afternoon and thank you for coming. We’ve come to share in the loss of Patricia. We’ve come to weep, to feel, and to wonder in anguish.

We don’t come today with any glib answers. Let’s face it. This is tough stuff. We’re stunned. We’re hurting. We don’t understand.

It might be difficult to believe, but the Bible says that it’s actually good for us to be here today. In Ecclesiastes 7:2, God says this:

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting,

for death is the destiny of every person; the living should take this to heart.

In other words, God says that it’s better to go to a funeral than to a party. It’s better to be in a cemetery than at a football game. I think there are at least three reasons for this.

First, this is a time for us to celebrate the life that God gave to Patricia. We’re sad but we also want to remember Patricia’s uniqueness.

à Read Obituary

When I talked to some of you at the Visitation, I learned that she had a lot of great qualities:

· She loved her grandkids

· She loved country music

· She loved to camp

· She loved her flowers – she’d get mad when one of the grandkids would let a ball roll through them

· She loved dogs

· One of her granddaughters said that she was very nice

· Her husband said that she was a servant

à Mike and Art are going to share some memories as well.

And so, this is a time for us to remember. Second, it’s a time for us to say good-bye to Patricia. As hard as it is, this service will help us begin the process of letting go.

And, third, it’s a time for us to take a look at our own lives. We are all going to die someday. It’s a great time to ask some tough questions. Questions like, “Am I ready to die?” and “Where will I go when my life is over?” When it comes right down to it, this service is more for us who are living than for the person who has died.

And so, we’re going to remember, we’re going to say good-bye, and we’re going to reflect on our own lives.



Some of you are searching for answers this afternoon. I want you to know that it’s OK to ask those questions. It’s natural to wonder why this had to happen.

There’s a story in the Bible that addresses some of the same things that most of us are feeling today. It’s found in the Gospel of John, in the 11th chapter. Here we read of a funeral that involved hard questions, deep feelings, and budding hope.

The deceased is a man named Lazarus. He comes from a very close family -- among them are two sisters -- Mary and Martha. Like Patricia, he came from a good family and had a bunch of friends – and one of his best friends was Jesus.

Jesus arrives four days after Lazarus dies, and as he approaches the house full of people crying, both sisters run out to Him at separate times and say:

Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

I suspect some of you are asking “If” questions as well. “If only I had spent more time with her.” “If only I had been nicer.” “If only I had done this – or that.” These kinds of “If” questions are normal.

Talk about it...

Clarence  Armstrong avatar
Clarence Armstrong
0 days ago
Thank you very much. This maessage helped me during a sudden death of one of my church members.
Gregory Wheaton avatar
Gregory Wheaton
0 days ago
Thanks, that was helpful. Difficult funeral of 39 yr old alcoholic, lots of kids by different women.Everybody hates everybody. Definitely different doing ministry in the 21st century So far . . . they all like me. I''d rather introduce them to Jesus . . .
Brian Fugleberg avatar
Brian Fugleberg
0 days ago
Believe it or not, the funeral I am doing is for a lady named Patricia. Your message gave me some ideas. The hope of your message continues on.
Joseph Vest avatar
Joseph Vest
0 days ago
Brian, thank you. This was a brilliant appraoch and one I will adopting this afternoon as I preach the funeral of a man I didn''t know who, from all indications, didn''t know our Lord.
David Parks avatar
David Parks
0 days ago
Thanks. Am building off of this idea tomorrow.
Ken Humphries avatar
Ken Humphries
0 days ago
This was so very well crafted and I believe does a great job at conveying the Gospel. Thank you very much...
Jeff Strite avatar
Jeff Strite
0 days ago
This is good stuff
Brian Bill avatar
Brian Bill
0 days ago
Thanks, Jeff. I love reading your material as well!
Thomas Williams St Paul Ame Zion Ch avatar
Thomas Williams St Paul Ame Zion Ch
0 days ago
thank you this is a very good funeral message and easy for all to understand..
Brian Bill avatar
Brian Bill
0 days ago
G lad it was helpful, Thomas!

So, what did you think?

Thank you.