Summary: This sermon is a compulation from many different sources. Please don’t quote my name! Instead, use it to bring comfort where able.
Memorial Service of John E. Doe
Pastor Greg Buchner, Officiating
Time of Visitation/Gathering
Prelude – “Old Rugged Cross”
We all have burdens.
Some of us overcome them and some of us are overcome by them.
We all know that life is full of questions.
Some of us find answers and some of us have questions that forever go unanswered.
We all have felt the sting of death.
Some die because of a diseased heart, others die from a cancer-ridden lung, and still others die from a diseased brain.
In God’s wise divine intervention, none of us can see very far ahead. The future is always unknown, and no one could have foreseen the kind of summons that brings us to this moment,
on this day.
Each one of us in our own way since Sunday morning have been asking ourselves, what could we have done? What should we have done? Could we have done anything differently? Personally, I wish that I could have given John better counsel. I wish that I could have given him the hope he needed to get through this lowest of lows. I wish that I could have been there to stop him, but I wasn’t.
And, in reality, the only way that any of us could have stopped our friend and loved one from giving up his life, would have been to be there at that very moment to stop him. But not only then, but to be with him every waking moment of every single day.
It wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t John’s fault…it was no one’s fault.
Friends and family, we have gathered here in grief, acknowledging our human loss. We have
gathered in our pain, hoping to find some sense of comfort. We have gathered in sorrow,
struggling to find some sense of hope.
I have not known John as long as or nearly as well as the most of you, but I’ve known him well enough to know he was a man who had faith. And even in the midst of his most darkness moments with bi-polar and manic depression, he often looked for God, experienced his relationship with God, and tried to learn what God was trying to teach him.
John is no longer with us, but in my conversations and letters I’ve shared with him in the past, I can tell you that John and God were trying to figure out their relationship together. That tells me that they had a relationship in the first place.
And I believe that the gracious God that I know and love and respect and honor, is telling John it’s okay. And I believe that the same gracious God, full of mercy and grace, is telling us today, that it’s okay.
John’s not suffering. He’s thinking more clearly than he has ever thought before. Probably trying to talk God into computerizing his prayer request system, or just relaxing with grandma and grandpa as they till the ground, cut the grass, or tend to the animals on heaven’s farmland.
Today, while the death of a loved one is always a tragedy, and is it doubly so when that loved one has taken his own life, we can agree with the Hebrew writer, “Let us then with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in (this) time of need (Hebrews 4:16).”