Summary: Funeral service of a mother of the church who had fought a good fight, and who was faithful until the end, despite all her challenges.

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First Church of God in Harvey

Funeral Service for a mother of our church

May 21st, 2011

To ..................... all family members, pastors, ministers, saints and friends. We are here today to celebrate the home-going of one whom we all dearly love, in the person of.................... On Friday, May 13th, 2011, Mother........... left this world of trouble and sorrow to be with her Lord, whom she served faithfully for many years.

Some people say bad things happens on Friday the 13th, but good things also happens on Friday the 13th. There are some people who are very careful as to what they say, what they do, and where they go, on Friday the 13th. On last Friday, which was May the 13th, something good happened. I left my home to be at the bedside of a dear saint of God. As I stood at the bedside of this dear mother at the Nursing home, she was unresponsive. I talked to her realizing that she would hear what I was saying, but would not be able to respond. I read to her one of her favorite psalm, which was psalm 27. Here are a few verses taken from that psalm, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? As I was reading the psalm, I would pause, touch her gentle on the head, and continue to read. “Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger; thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” The last verse of that psalm says, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord."

Mother....... was waiting on the Lord, and she would always say, pastor I am ready to go home, and I would say to her, in God’s own time, and you have to wait on the Lord. After I had finished reading the psalm, I anointed mother .......... with oil, and prayed for her. Somehow, I did not pray for God to heal her, but I prayed for God to keep her mind focus on him. I then started to remind her how much the Lord loves her. I then walked over to the nurse who was sitting in her room, and started talking to him. The nurse commented how her face looked so smooth, and when I mentioned her age, he thought she was much younger. As we were talking, the nurse turned away his face, and looked at mother............, and made the remark, “she is not breathing.” He got up, went over to her, and started to take her pulse. He tried several times, and suddenly it dawned on me, that mother.............., had left this world of trouble and sorrow to be with her Lord. Mother ............ was absent from the body, but present with the Lord.

I believe as I was talking to the nurse, this is what happened. Mother ............... have said over and over again that she wants to go home. At approximately 11:00 AM, on Friday May 13th, mother ............. heard her name being called. She has been waiting for a long time to hear her name being called, but on this day when she heard her name, I believe she must have said, “hush, hush, somebody is calling my name……Hush, hush. Somebody is calling my name, it sounds like Jesus, but I know somebody is calling my name. As she listened to her name being called, she might have said, that’s me, that’s me, and I am ready, and waiting to go home. She had no time to say good-bye to her son and daughter. She had no time to say good-bye to her pastor who was close to her bedside. She had no time to say good-bye to any of her friends, because when your name is being called you must answer. It is not polite for someone to call your name, and not answer, unless you are hiding. Ready or not you have to answer. No time to say, call back next week, I have to take a vacation. No time to say, I have to get things ready, when your name is called, then you have to answer, and it is time to go. One writer caught the vision and said, "when he calls me I will answer, when he calls me I will answer, I will be somewhere listening for my name."

In order for mother ............ to be with her Lord, she had to leave this world through death. It seems to me, everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. We try to cling to life as long as we can, and our love ones will do all they can to make sure we live, but no matter how hard they try, no matter what they do, we all have to face the reality of death. Death is universal. The rich man is going to die, and the poor man is going to die. The black man, and the white man are going to die. That man or woman who has all that fame and fortune, they too are going to die. That man who no one cares about, is going to die. It does not matter if you are young or old, if the Lord tarries, you are going to die. The truth is, we are all going to die, but we just do not know when. Mother ........ was waiting, she was anxiously waiting, because she was ready to be with her Lord.

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