Summary: Funeral for middle aged Christian lady who died unexpectedly.
Song – Glory for Me – Family Enters
Song – Lamb of God
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
We preach our funerals by the way we live. Words the family told me that described Polly: Loving; Caring; Serving (would help anyone if possible), Family-Oriented and Unselfish.
As a part of an assignment for a doctoral thesis, a college student spent a year with a group of Navajo Indians on a reservation in the Southwest. As he did his research he lived with one family, sleeping in their hut, eating their food, working with them and generally living the life of a 20th Century Indian. The old grandmother of the family spoke no English at all, yet a very close friendship formed between the two. They spent a great deal of time sharing a friendship that was meaningful to each, yet unexplainable to someone else.
In spite of the language difference they shared the common language of love and understood each other. Over the months he learned a few phrases of Navajo and she picked up a little of the English language. When the time came for him to return to the campus and write his thesis, the tribe held a going-away celebration. It was marked by sadness since the young man had become close to the whole village and all would miss him.
As he prepared to get up into the pickup truck and leave, the old grandmother came to tell him good-bye. With tears streaming from her eyes, she placed her hands on either side of his face, looked directly into his eyes and said, "I like me best when I'm with you." Family would feel that way with Polly.
Song – Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Polly’s passing was an unexpected and shocking surprise. It reminds us:
• Life does not always go our way, according to our plans
• There are often interruptions along the way
I. The Unexpected
A. Jesus spoke of the unexpected in Matthew 24 when he told of his next coming
• “Thief in the night”
• “The unprepared slave”
We understand the idea of the unscheduled event
In fact, if we had our way about things, a lot of what has caught us off guard would never happen at all. But these things are out of our control.
• God is in charge
• We live in a fallen, broken world
• We have been reminded this week of the unexpected Twin Towers catastrophe in NYC on 9.11
• We are aware of Illnesses that change the course of our days
• We know the unexpected loss of a job can change our lives
• In recent weeks we have watched the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and saw the unexpected.
Remember Jesus in the storm – Luke 8.22-25
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. 25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
• Jesus was not caught off-guard or unprepared
• Jesus has the power to still the storm
• Jesus was present with his disciples and us in the midst of our storms
Our plans are “if the Lord wills” (James 4.15).
B. God Has Repeatedly Done the Unexpected