Summary: We celebrate the life of our fellow believers when they are called home to be with the Lord!
Date Written: August 07, 2010
Date Preached: August 08, 2010
Event: Jack Phillips Funeral
Oak Park Baptist Church
Title: The Sudden Loss of A Christian
Text: 1 Thess 4:13
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
Today we gather together with grief in our hearts because we have lost a dear loved one in Jack Phillips. BUT, Mr. Jack would NOT want us to come here and mully grub all day… he would NOT want us to be downcast and sorrowful! Mr. Jack would want this to be a time of rejoicing and celebration! Yes! We can celebrate and rejoice thru the tears of grief!
We come here today as a celebration of the life of a man who touched many lives! I don’t want to think that you should NOT grieve the loss of this wonderful man, but in the midst of our grief I know what God’s word tells us and it is that even thru the grief, we can still celebrate!
Today we gather together to celebrate 1st…
HIS LIFE of LOVE…
We can read in PHIL 1:3 that Paul took time to celebrate life with those around him! Paul did NOT take life for granted… and we find Paul writing, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…”
In my ministry my focus in a funeral or time of tragedy is to encourage families to do to celebrate the memories of the one they have lost! I ask them stories about their loved one and most of the time, it is a tearfully JOYFUL time of remembrance by the family!
I believe that looking at and celebrating the life of their loved one is going to serve them as a great encouragement when all the people are gone… and they are at home alone and you wake up one day and suddenly you are overwhelmed with sorrow. Pull out those memories and play ‘em over and over again…
Not ONLY does celebrating all your memories serve as a comfort to you BUT I can see that it also is going to serve as a wonderful way of passing down to the next generation that special heritage… those special memories… to those whom you love!
Family, when all the company is gone and when you are all alone and the grief seems to be overwhelming you, I challenge you to NOT be afraid to take your grief to God… He has said that He would be there for us… Go to God and talk to Him about your loss and loneliness.
Mr Jack celebrated LIFE with his family in just about everything he ever did. Now you may not know this about Jack or not, but people tell me that Jack was not what you might call a ‘talkative’ person…
I know that for the 3 yrs I was his pastor, he was for the most part very quiet, but I discovered that I could NOT mistake that quiet nature for a lack of interest in his family! Jack was ALL about creating memories each and every time his family got together…
From loudly tapping the table with his fingers to get someone to play their card… to climbing a tree at 69 to put up a swing for his granddaughter, to rough-housing and getting involved with his grandchildren… to taking ALL the grandkids for rides on his motorcycle…. Jack was HANDS ON with his family! He was about serving them and loving them… Jack celebrated his family and the life God had given him.
Not only do we celebrate Jack’s life, but I can also see where we must celebrate…
HIS WITNESS of CHRIST...
1 Peter 2:4-5 [ESV]
4 As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Saved as a young man, Jack was NOT very ‘active’ in church for a long time. Mrs Sallie told me that for the 1st 25 yrs of their marriage, if you would have told her that Jack would become a deacon…she would have laughed in your face!
But just because Jack did not get openly involved in church does not mean that he was not a faithful husband, and father! You see for the 1st few yrs of their marriage they moved around a lot… but before Jack would do ANYTHING in a new town, he would find a church for the family to attend!
I have been told that if they moved in on Saturday, they were in a church on Sunday… and even tho’ from the outside it may not have seemed so… CHURCH was very important to the life and witness of Jack Phillips!