Summary: The all-inclusive nature of death
As the family and friends of xxx xxxx we are gathered today in the presence of God both to remember him and to find comfort from the word of God during this time of mourning.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” And we can tell by reading this verse that Paul saw God as the ultimate source of comfort, as the only one who could see our problems through our eyes and the one who was willing and able to give us the strength to go on. For those of us who wrestle with so many questions as we face the loss of a loved one, Paul said, “For now we see through a glass darkly, someday we shall understand even as we are understood.” This tells us that someday, all of our questions will be answered and everything will be clear.
Shall we pray: Our Father in heaven, how grateful we are that we have someone as loving and compassionate as you are, One who we can turn to in our hour of need. You alone know the thoughts of every heart that’s bowed in your presence and the needs of each. And so I would ask that you comfort all who mourn as only you can. We thank you today for xxxxx and the influence he had on his family and friends. We pray that his memory might be an inspiration to each of us and that his death will stand to remind us that none of us knows the day or the hour when our time will come to leave this world. Grant that in our time here today that each of us would hear the message of God with an open heart and that we would respond in a way that’s pleasing to you. For we ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
We will have the ministry of music at this time.
The book of Ecclesiastes says something usual when it says, “Funerals are better than parties.” And this is true because when we’re at a party we tend to forget about any problems we might have and we concentrate on enjoying ourselves but at a funeral we have to face what life is all about because not only have we lost a loved one but we also realize that we ourselves won’t be here forever either. And so a service such as this is a good time for each of us to face the fact that one day we’ll all have to stand before God and give account of our lives.
In Isaiah 38:1 it says, “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz went to him and said to him, thus saith the Lord: set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.” This was a warning from God, death was approaching and He was telling the king that he had better get ready. And really, this is a warning to each and every one of us, death is approaching and we had better all be ready.
I remember when my children were very young and I took them for a walk one morning and we happen to pass through an old graveyard. It wasn’t used anymore but they had grave markers there that were dated way back to the 1850’s. My son was only about four at the time and he asked me what they said. I read the person’s name, when she was born, when she died and the fact that she was 95 years old. And he said to me, “What else does it say?” And I said, “That’s it. It doesn’t tell us, if she was happy or liked ice cream or even if she ever owned a dog. It just says she lived, she died and she was 95 years old.
As I thought about that headstone later on it reminded me of a few things that weren’t written there. And the first thing is, that death is inevitable. And what I mean by this is that everybody dies.
Just think, Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived but in spite of his wisdom, he died. Alexander the Great was the greatest military leader the world has ever known but he couldn’t conquer death and he died too. Albert Einstein was a genius but he died. And Howard Hughes was the richest man of his time. As a matter of fact he had an estate worth around 4-5 billion dollars but when his time came he couldn’t buy himself five more minutes. He died.
There are no exceptions but sooner or later every one of us will die. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto man once to die.” Each of us in God’s own time will pass through what scripture calls, the valley of the shadow of death.