Summary: A Funeral Sermon for a believer who had Alzheimer’s. Three things the disease couldn’t steal - faith, hope and love.
Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid (Val-la-de-lid), Spain, in 1506. There is a monument in that city that commemorates the great explorer.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial is a statue of a lion at the base of it where the Spanish National Motto is engraved.
The lion is reaching out with its paw and is destroying one of the Latin words that had been part of Spain’s motto for centuries.
Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth. Because of that, their motto was "No More Beyond."
The word being torn away by the lion is "NO”, making it read "More Beyond."
For Spain, Columbus had proven that there really was "more beyond."
You know, the same is true for those that have discovered Jesus Christ. There really is “more beyond”. (Borrowed from Roy Fowler’s Funeral Sermon @ SermonCentral.com)
The word of God says in Psalms 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His Godly ones."
This means that on April 27th, 2004 something happened that the Lord thought was very precious. On that day, God sent his angels to Benkelman, Nebraska to bring another one of his children home.
In two weeks from today, I will be giving the Baccalaureate Address to the graduating class from Lakeside Central High School. Each one of those young men and women will be receiving a diploma that states that they have finished their courses and are ready to move on to the next stage of life. On Tuesday, Thelma graduated from this life and moved into the next. In God’s eyes, she had finished the course and was prepared to move into the next stage of life.
For several years now, Thelma had been suffering from a terrible disease. Alzheimer’s had begun to destroy her mind. On Monday, Pneumonia had gotten into her lungs and – as Gary shared with me – Thelma was in desperate agony. Finally, Tuesday, God decided to end the suffering that Thelma was enduring and asked his messengers to go bring her to Him.
Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease. It is a thief. It is a disease that steals. Alzheimer’s steals memory. In Thelma’s case, family members shared with me that there were times when she couldn’t even remember who they were. Her memory was being taken from her slowly. Alzheimer’s steals time. In Thelma’s case, it stole years from her life, and it stole precious time with her children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren.
Alzheimer’s steals happiness. The pleasures of simple things were stolen from Thelma. She loved to crochet and do patch work quilting. But because of her illness, those things were taken away from her.
There were many other things that this disease stole from Thelma in the final years of her life, but, let me tell you what it couldn’t steal. It couldn’t steal her faith. It couldn’t steal her hope. And it couldn’t steal her love.
Scripture is very clear on this point. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that three things will abide forever . . . faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.