Summary: This is a eulogy for a Christian woman who was a 40 year member of the church and died at age 81.
Ethelene Amelia Hall
Death first appeared in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. It was a frightening concept to them and has been for most of humankind ever since. But even before Jesus Christ conquered death by rising from the dead, God saw death in a different light. From God’s perspective, death could be rendered completely powerless depending on who was doing the dying. The word of God says in Psalms 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." This means that on early Sunday Morning, February 17th, 2002 Ethelene Amelia Hall, brought joy in a special way to the heart of God.
What was it about her that moved the heart of God? What was it about her, that moved our hearts, when we discovered that she was now waiting for our arrival in heaven? What was it about her that causes us to celebrate this evening? She was more than a daughter, more than a wife, more than a mother, more than a sister, more than a relative, more than a good friend, and more than a strong Black woman. Brothers and sisters I submit to you this day, that Ethelene Ameila Hall was a servant and a child of the Most High God and an avid follower of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The actual date of Ethelene’s death is probably not written down in a record book that we can easily get our hands on, you see the date on the obituary refers to the date her body cease to function. The real Ethelene, the part that lives forever, died a long time ago, when she heard of the call of Jesus Christ upon her life.
Jesus said, , "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a person if he or she gains the whole world, yet forfeits his or her soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for his or her soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he or she has done.
Often times, when you look back over a person’s life you can see a theme of one of the principles of God’s word running through it. When I think of Ethelene, the dominant verse which comes up again and again comes from Jesus when he said, “Greater love has no one than this, but that he lay down his life for his friend.” Ethelene lived a life which said, “it’s not all about me, but rather about helping someone else to make it through life’s journey.”
How does a person go about denying himself or herself to follow Jesus? It begins with the realization that there is more to life than what we can see around us. We were created to follow God’s purposes and not our own. It continues with the understanding that everyday, all of us are making choices for our lives that affect us and others. Not only are choices being made, the word of God tells us that a record is being kept of every decision that we make, and that one day we will give an account to God for those decisions.
The word of God tells us, you only get one shot at life, so do your very best with it, but that God is going to hold you accountable for the way you live it. If you were to die today, would you be ready to give God an account for the decisions you have made, and would you know with a certainty that you would spend eternity in heaven with God? If the answer is not yes, then perhaps your life is being lived in vain.
The good news about Ethelene, is that her living has not been in vain. God gives each of us an assignment to work with in this world. We cannot let the outward circumstances of our lives hinder us in fulfilling the task that is before us. When you see all that Sister Hall accomplished from the Obituary, you might be thinking, well she had it easy and if you had what she had, you could have done the same thing.
My friends it was not easy being born a black woman in 1921 in a country where racism, segregation, and sexism were in plentiful supply. It was not easy being physically ill much of your life in high school going back and forth to the emergency room, not knowing if you’re coming back out alive.