Summary: A dear Christian Friend - Humble, wise prayer warrior.
Friends, we have gathered here to praise God -- and to witness to our faith, as we celebrate the life of ED.
We come together in grief, and we acknowledge our human loss.
May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, in sorrow hope, and in death resurrection.
Will you please pray with me?
Eternal God, we praise you for ED who has finished his course and now rest from his labor. Let your perpetual light shine upon these that have gathered here. Grant us peace, and help us to believe where we have not seen, that your presence may lead us through our years. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Folks, if you don’t believe that Love hurts then I am afraid that you have never really known love. When you are a teenager there is the ache to be close to that special person. Sometimes an even bigger ache when a relationship breaks up.
We are here today to celebrate love and a very special lover. ED, a man who understood how painful love could be.
He had a love for music that lifted him up. For Ed Music could take a day of short breaths and aches and pains and take him to a level of floating on a heavenly cloud.
During the summer ED and Jim came to choir practice. They had no intention of singing on Sunday. ED thought that somehow his voice was not good enough. The rehearsal was more of a pick a song and the hymnal and sing out.
Let me tell you something, for a fellow on oxygen he could sing fast and strong, normally out singing me. We would be singing something with multiple parts and really fast and he would look at me when I missed my base part because I needed a breath. I accused him of turning up the oxygen which I considered unfair.
Ed loved his family starting with the apple of his eye, Jimmy Nell. I think the spark in their relationship came from being the best of friends and sometimes the sparks flew with the running banter of remarks and sometimes with sweet kisses and little I love you whispered across the room.
He loved his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and the pictures were close at hand to prove it. Oh how he worried if any of you were out and forgot to call. Oh how he cared for your every pain and trouble.
There was another branch of the family tree that he gladly claimed and that was his church family. There was no lack of love because, he knew that we were all related by blood, the blood all Christians share. And that means that ED was my older brother. ED was a living example that the more love you give away the more you have. The more you risk the better the return
Folks I was personally blessed because, ED was a perfect example of a happy Christian. He laughed easily, he smiled quickly, he raised a hand to praise God when the music moved his soul and the biggest delight of a pastor, he occasionally let out an amen or other supportive remark.
At least I thought it was supportive, sometimes I would notice Jim giving him a reaction, you know, one of thoes wife looks. A sort of I’m gonna smack you. Sometimes, ED would let me in on the secret. ED loved to make people smile and laugh.
Folks, ED was fortunate to have kept a sharp mind, even in his hardships he had a great outlook and wit.
ED was a spiritual man, a good husband, a faithful and true friend. He was a deep person and offered true insight into the questions of life. He expressed wisdom with humor and love.
I suspect that most of you know that he was a warrior….a prayer warrior. He knew that he could not fix most things, like his preacher…and perhaps some of you and your problems…and he lifted us up to the Lord.
Sometimes with sorrow and sometimes joy, he shared his heart and his love for his family and friends with the one in which he had complete and perfect faith. ED loved normal, real, imperfect human beings and sometimes he felt the pain of loss and disappointment and worry over the safety of the people he loved.