Summary: Funeral service for my closest friend’s four year old girl who died of cancer.
Note: This funeral sermon was for my best friend’s four year-old daughter who recently died of cancer after a valiant five month fight; I have included the father’s eulogy as an appendix, as it is extremely touching and illustrates the difference faith can make in one’s life. During the family’s five month ordeal, the father, an assistant principal at a Christian school, handed out sixty copies of the Purpose Driven Life, which has resulted in at least one nurse receiving Christ as Savior.
Celebration of Life Service for Teanna Jean Baldwin
Good afternoon. I am Pastor Shane Symyrozum and this is Pastor Glenn Patrick; together we have been given the honor of leading today’s celebration of Teanna’s life. On behalf of the Baldwin family, I would like to thank you for being here, as your presence speaks of your concern and love for Wes and Delona and the rest of the family. Please know that your support, both today and over the past five months has been greatly appreciated.
Wes and Delona, on behalf of West Edmonton Christian Assembly we extend to you our deepest sympathy and our prayers. While none of us can say we know what you are going through, as your church family and friends, our hearts are broken with yours, and we commit to walk with you and support you through this tragic time.
While we are gathered today to celebrate the life of a vibrant young girl who brought an incredible amount of joy and profoundly inspired so many people over her five short years, we need to be honest in admitting that today’s memorial is far different from that of an elderly person who lived a long and full life. For most of us, I would imagine the last five months have been filled with more questions than answers, and while as Christians we know Teanna is in heaven, and that brings us comfort, in many cases our hearts are gripped with a pain that we have never known before.
And so this afternoon we will begin by opening our hearts and minds to the unshakeable truth of God’s Word. And we will ask God to be with us today and to hold our hand in the days to come, knowing that wherever two or more are gathered in His name He is with us.
Let us be comforted today by the scriptures, as I read what the Bible has to say in regards to God’s unshakeable love and Heaven, our true home, where Teanna is this very moment.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
What these scriptures teach us is that as soon as Teanna breathed her last labored breath on earth, she went to be in the arms of our Lord and she has no memory of the pain of this ordeal.