Summary: This was a sermon prepared for a funeral of a dear saint within our church. It was written to honor him in death as he honored Christ in life.
Sermon Title: A Life Well Lived
Place: Oakdale Wesleyan Church
Date: April 13, 2008
Subject: Funeral of Lawrie Anderson
Order of Service
On behalf of Lawrie’s church and as I was always referred to by Bernice from Lawrie’s pastor, I want to personally welcome everyone here this afternoon as we say our final good-byes and share in comfort together as we grieve the passing of truly one of God’s saints here on earth. This is Lawrie’s church
Opening Sentence of Scripture
As many of you know the last few days of Lawrie’s life were hard days as his body simply gave up and was worn out. I spent Tuesday with the family at United Hospital and in the intensive care unit they had a bulletin board affixed with thank-you letters and well wishes for the doctors and staff of the unit from folks who had obviously passed on into eternity or gotten better as a result of their physical efforts. At the center of the board was a homemade card from the family of apparently a Christian man and on the inside of the card were these verses that I believe are so appropriate as we come today to bid farewell to Lawrie. If Lawrie was able to speak to us from beyond the grave I truly believe these might sum up the words that he would share with us from II Timothy chapter 4:
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in sore for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
These words I want to be the center of time together today as they so encapsulate the life that Lawrie lived: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in sore for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Hymn – Amazing Grace (congregational or special)
Scripture: Romans 12 possibly read by Tim Roehl
Reading of Obituary
Moments for Memories
Scripture Reading – Isaiah 53
Nine years ago a moving truck pulled away from West Union, Iowa and eventually made its way into the west drive of the church parking lot. All my earthly possessions were in that truck and packed amongst our 3 kids and my wife in our van as we made the move from rural Iowa to the big city of St. Paul.
There were three guys that met this new pastor on the drive that day. They were each wearing old clothes and had gloves on their hands and were ready to move their new pastor into the parsonage. The first man I had already met and talk with several times and that was Terry Cooprider, right behind him was an older gentlemen who always had some smart comment to say: Cecil Rich, and then behind them was a man who was definitely a grandpa figure but had bib overalls on and work gloves on his hands. This man didn’t say much but he was ready to work and his name was Lawrie Anderson.
As we unloaded boxes and furniture I quickly came to know who Lawrie was. We had visited the house about a month before and at that point there was still wall-paper in the living room, no carpet on the floors, the walls were a wreck as everyone had been cleaning, fixing and repairing, and now the house had been transformed into our new home waiting for our arrival. I soon found out that the man we have come here to celebrate this morning was the man greatly responsible for much of the work that had been done to prepare this place for us.
Over the next couple of years it seemed like Lawrie was the one who was constantly at the church. He was painting something, fixing something, mowing the lawn, or changing light bulbs. In fact the first fall we were here I discovered that while the trees make it like a park in here, they also make a mess with millions and millions of leaves inches deep all across the entire property. But just as I was fretting the clean-up job in comes Lawrie with his old John Deer Lawnmower and leaf sweeper. For the next 8 hours he went back and forth across the lawn cleaning up leaves. By the end of the day he was completely black, his clothes were thickly covered in dust and two white slits are all that remained on his face. When he walked the dirt rolled off him, but the leaves were all neatly cleaned up and piled in the woods line.