Summary: A funeral sermon I preached at my grandmother’s funeral on September 13th, 2003 at Prescott, Iowa.
Jill did a wonderful job and although she probably didn’t know it, her sharing her memories of Grandma actually was a perfect introduction for my message today and what I have on my mind. Memories seem to be the theme of the day for us. It’s served as a basic theme for me to work with ever since a week or two ago when I asked Mom where Grandma’s funeral would likely be and when she said it was probably going to be right here, in the Prescott church, naturally, my thoughts began to turn to all the history that our family has here in Prescott and in particular, this church.. As many of you know probably far better than I, Grandma was a member of this church for a very long time. Going back many years, to the days when this building was still the Methodist church, up until recent years, this church was an important place in Grandma’s life. I am sure she had many pleasant memories of this church. I am sure each of you, Betty, Joye, and Pat, have special memories of this church too. Its here, to this church, that your mother brought you when you were growing up, Sunday after Sunday, to hear God’s Word and to stress how important the Christian faith was in her life, and how important she wanted to be in yours and your families lives. And I know this is something that you have passed on to your own children as well. I’m sure it is fair to say that no one here can keep count anymore of the many times the Ryan Sisters have shared the gift of beautiful music you have sung here in this church, singing songs of worship and praise to God, beautifying so many worship services and other special events in this church and in this community. So in many ways, it is very fitting that you have chosen to bring your mother here one last time as she brought you here to this very church so many times in your life, so that on this day especially, you may be fed with the promises in God’s Word, promises that were important in her life. You weren’t the only ones Grandma brought to this church to hear God’s Word, either. Some of you will remember, it was here in this very church, that my grandfather, Wayne Preston, was baptized late in his life and came week after week to be fed with God’s Word as well. My mother, Lora, was also baptized here many years ago as a teenager, because Grandma did the same thing for her that she did with her daughters before, she loved her step daughter enough to bring her to this church, to hear God’s Word, and learn about the Christian faith, and seeing my mother come to that faith, and pass that on to myself and my brother, Brian. For me to come here, and preach in a church that has so much family history to it is pretty special. I did make a comment recently that you know, it seems the only time I get to preach in this church that has so much of our family history wrapped up in it, is when someone dies and it’s a sad day. It may appear to be that at first. However, the more I think about it, and the more we look into God’s Word, my mind has changed a little bit. Allow me to share with you why.