Summary: This is a funeral for a man in his mid-fifties that passed away unexpectedly.
On behalf of the entire Brown family, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for being here this afternoon.
One week ago right now, none of us expected to be here today.
But people have rearranged schedules, taken off work, and traveled many miles to be here for this service where we have gathered to remember Michael Brown, a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend.
In addition to being here to remember Michael, we’ve also come to comfort members of Michael’s family by our words and by our presence.
And finally, we are here to hear what God would say to us through His Word about the realities of life, death, and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
This past week, the uncertainty of life has been confirmed again.
James, the Apostle, issued this warning:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” - James 4:13-14 (NIV)
We don’t think as much about it when a person passes away at 70-80 years of age, but it gets our attention when life unexpectedly comes to an end for someone in their fifties.
So many people try to avoid thinking about death.
It is almost like they can think they can deny its existence if they don’t talk about it.
But unless the Lord returns first, all of us will pass the way of the grave.
“But the Bible tells us that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” - Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)
It is in moments like this that all of us are reminded that we still have time to examine the direction of our lives, and we can still make preparation for that day when we will stand before a holy God.
I am so glad that Nancy confirmed that Michael did not enter eternity unprepared.
When I met with the family the other day, she said, he was ready. He knew Jesus as his Savior.
I was s glad to hear that testimony.
There are all kinds of emotions at a time like this.
There’s obvious tears, sadness, and pain when death enters our world.
Someone we care about is no longer here.
But oddly enough, even with all the pain, as families and friends have gathered, there is the inevitable joy and laughter that comes from reminiscing about the funny things
Michael has said and done.
There’s gratitude for relationships that have been restored.
Sadly, there is often regret about the realization of things that should have been said, but now that opportunity has passed.
In times like these, we are reminded of the importance of relationships.
How it is wise to say what you need to say and keep short accounts relationally.
Michael was something of a nomad, traveling through life.
Always on the move.
But at age 56 he was ready to return to Indiana to live until he died.
Nobody could have predicted the shock and disappointment that would come at his passing just two short months after coming back to Indiana.
I had not seen Michael for a while, but I was glad to hear about the changes and growth that had taken place in his life.
I have seen the pictures and noticed how happy he was two see his grandkids.
The pictures, the stories, the memories, bring all kinds of emotions to the surface.
So, whatever you are feeling today I just want to encourage you to take it to God.
He understands what you are going through.
He feels your pain.
God is big enough to handle your pain, your anger, and your questions.
The only things that God can’t help us with are those things that we refuse to bring Him.
I would like to invite you to join me as we go to Him in prayer right now.
SONG – AMAZING GRACE
I want to tell you a story that might bring us some perspective on a day like this.
It is the story of five friends.
We don’t know how or why, but one of the friends had been paralyzed.
The four healthy friends wanted to find a way to get their paralyzed friend to Jesus.
They were convinced, that if they could get their friend to Jesus, Jesus would heal him.
Several things in this story remind me of Michael.
Like Michael, their hearts were in the right place.