Summary: Funeral Sermon
Grace, Mercy and Peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Amen.
Dear Family and Friends of Walter Geistfeld whom God has called home to the eternal rest that he has promised to all his believing children.
Today we gather together at a sad time to say our farewells to a beloved father, grandfather, and friend. Our hearts are filled with sorrow over the loss of Walter, but I want all of you to put away your grief if only for a moment and reflect on Walter’s confirmation verse which is the basis for our sermon for today. Here in the word of God recorded by St John, God wants you to know that Walter has not died – at least not spiritually. No Walter has only fallen asleep because God a long time ago gave Walter Eternal Security.
Hear now the word of God recorded in St John’s Gospel chapter 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
On January 28, 1909 Walter Geistfeld was born into this sinful world. It was only a short time after that that God brought him into his family on March 14, 1909 through the miracle of Holy Baptism.
Walter’s parents loved him so much they brought him to the baptismal font believing God Word which says, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5, NIV).
At the moment Walter was cleansed with the water of baptism and with the power of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit created faith in his heart and heaven was now his home, his eternal security was guaranteed.
As an adopted child of God the faith created by the Holy Spirit would continues to grow and become strong as he was brought up in the Christian faith. As one of Jesus’ little lambs he attended Sunday School and worship services. He was instructed in the word in confirmation class and was confirmed, publicly confessing his faith in his shepherd. Walter listened to the voice of Jesus and followed him all the days of his life.
Walters Eternal Security is what comforts us right now. It comforts us because we know with absolute certainty where he is. He is safe and secure in the arms of Jesus, his good shepherd.
It was about 5 weeks ago or so that the Doctors came to Walter’s family and told them that it was only a matter of time before he would die. Knowing this does not make his death any easier. But God was not ready for Walter then. Jesus tells us in St John’s Gospel the 14th chapter, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
5 weeks ago Walter’s room was not ready and the thought occurred to me that now was the perfect time for Jesus to take him home.
Walter was a farmer and now it is harvest time. How perfect that a man who spent his life planting and harvesting should enter his eternal security with the Lord of the Harvest at harvest time.
How perfect that a man who s body was failing now has a glorified body. Walter earthly body was no longer to walk the fields that he loved all his life. But now he is walking beside Jesus in the fields of heaven.
Walter fell asleep in a room at a nursing home but he awakened in a room in heaven. In heaven where he no longer feels the effects of sin. No more pain or disease. No more suffering of death. In heaven where God himself tells us in the book of Revelation, "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.” (Revelation 21:4)
How can we be sure? Listen to Walter’s confirmation verse once again. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Did you hear the promise God gave to Walter? God promised that his sheep who follow him are given eternal life. What a comfort.