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Summary: Sharing hope in a time of apparent tragedy, through the love of God displayed in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for us. [This is as shared at the funeral service - names ommitted].

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SCRIPTURE READING:

JOHN 3:16 – 21 [NIV] {Chosen by R. B.}

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s only begotten Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

MINISTRY:

We have come to a moment of great sadness as we pay tribute to the memory of I. B. I knew I. through our visits as a Church to M. V. Centre, where for quite sometime we held a ‘Songs of Praise’, until circumstances changed. What a joy it was to go each month and sing together some of the old hymns, as well as some of the newer songs of worship. The poems we shared and the brief meditation all seemed to be well received. I. sat in her usual place and enjoyed the humour and the thought provoking comments. Her family have spoken of her enjoyment.

The time came when we had to stop our regular visits, and consequently we lost touch with those who had become friends. What a privilege is mine to have been asked to take this Service, and to pay my own tribute to I..

Born in 1917 when times were rather hard for many, she grew with a love of cycling and in that sphere met W., who became her husband, making their first home together in W.. She keenly followed her husband’s interest in football, and her son R’s interest in cricket. I wonder whether there were times when there was a conflict of interest!

Her joy increased when her grandson R. was born to R. and R.; she took a delight in following his developing years.

It was good to learn of her links with the ‘Chat Club’, (quite famous for its help given to many in the area). Here she showed her skills as a crafts-woman, working in sewing, crocheting and knitting, using these skills to help the charities that the ‘Chat Club’ supported.

There will be a gap left by the passing of I., for even though she had reached 84 years of age, she was greatly loved and will be missed by many.

It is good at times like this, in moments of great sorrow, to turn for comfort and strength to the Word of God.

What wonderful comfort we find in the Scripture that we read earlier. We read of the God who loved so much that He gave His only Son to die for us. Can there be greater love than that? God cares for you and me! It is at a time like this that we can feel vulnerable, and need reassurance, a time when we hurt because we miss a loved one.

You will remember that Jesus said “I lay down my life”. Here is a One, the Son of God who is interested in each one, and calls us to follow Him. It is in the closeness of His presence that we find encouragement and strength at a time like this?


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