Summary: A funeral message for a soldier killed in Iraq.
Do You Not Know
Funeral Message for Ryan Buckley
When I was first contacted about serving God at this worship service, I was asked if I remembered Ryan from his attending Church at the Hillsboro Presbyterian Church. I told them I did indeed remember Ryan. As I thought of Ryan I realized it is true what someone else told me, when you picture him you almost certainly will picture him smiling.
I also remembered Ryan as one who was always polite. Actually, I found myself telling someone Ryan was “overly polite”. I wondered, “Why did I stick the word “overly” in there?” And I realized I had done so NOT because Ryan was overly polite but because he was more polite than most people, especially those his age.
As I sat down to begin working on this message I felt overwhelmed.
What do you say when someone’s son dies at too young an age?
What do you say when someone who had recently marked his first
wedding anniversary is taken from this life and from his bride?
What do you say when a young soldier is killed while serving his
There are no easy words. So it was with much prayer that I sat down to begin writing this message. And the first words that came to mind were the words, “Do you not know?”
“Do you not know?”
Those words came to me from 1 Corinthians, chapter 6. The Apostle Paul used that phrase 6 times in that chapter, writing about some things his readers seemed to be forgetting.
Do you not know?
There are a lot of things I don’t know. No surprise there. I spent some time thinking about all the things I don’t know as I was on my flight back to be here.
As I sat on the plane, the first thing that came to mind is how I don’t know how planes fly. I am always amazed at how an object as heavy as a passenger plane can take off and fly.
I don’t know how stars are formed. I really enjoy the beautiful pictures we get back from the Hubble telescope as it looks into deep space. There we can see stars still being formed, a beautiful sight, but I don’t know how they are formed.
I don’t know how a mind stores memories and how it is we retrieve those memories, or don’t retrieve them, which seems to be the case for me more and more.
As I kept listing all the things I didn’t know I thought I had better stop because I was starting to feel dumber.
Do you not know?
There are a lot of things every one of us do not know. As Will Rogers noted, “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
Some things we do not know are simply beyond our comprehension, even for the brightest minds.
Other things we do not know are things we haven’t taken time to learn.
There are other things we do not know because we have either forgotten them OR we simply don’t care to learn them. We treat some things as unimportant.
Do you not know?
Some of the things we do not know, though, are things we should know, things that we should not forget---ever.
Do you not know? “That you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20a) is the other phrase from 1 Corinthians chapter 6 that came to mind as I sat down to write this message.
The Apostle Paul listed a number of things in 1 Corinthians 6 that we should remember and one of those things we should remember is that we were bought with a price.
Here is the reason those two phrases came together for this message. The Apostle Paul is writing about how our spiritual freedom was purchased by Jesus’ death for our sins. By the death of God’s Son we are set free. And I relate that to Ryan’s death while he served our country in Iraq because our freedom as a country, all the blessings of this great nation, were bought at a price.
Often, it seems to me, many people simply do not know this, they do not remember, or they simply take it for granted.
I sometimes want to say something like this to those who don’t seem to appreciate all that we have as a country,
“Do you not know that the freedoms we enjoy
were bought for us? And sometimes that purchase
has been made at the cost of the lives of others? “
While talking with Ryan’s mom, she told me how on September 11th, 2001, the day of the terrorists’ attack on our country, Ryan (then 16 years old) came home and told her that one day he was going to protect our country from people like those terrorists.