Sermons

Summary: I know this is a pretty specific topic, but when this issue came up for me this week, I had a hard time finding any guidance. This is what I came up with, and I hope it helps you.

Opening Statement

LORD, my heart is not proud;

my eyes are not haughty.

I do not get involved with things

too great or too difficult for me.

2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself

like a little weaned child with its mother;

I am like a little child.

3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,

both now and forever.

Psalm 131

On behalf of the Hampton family, I want to thank you for being here to celebrate the life of Regina Gail Hampton. [Obituary Details]

Following prayer, Louise Hampton, Gail’s sister in law, will present the eulogy. Let us pray…

Prayer

Lord God, you have created all things bright and beautiful. You created all creatures great and small. You created all things wise and wonderful. And so, Lord God, we have absolute faith that your hands made and fashioned Gail just exactly the way you intended to.

Today, people describe people like Gail as “special needs adults.” And sometimes, we struggle with trying to keep up with whatever the current politically correct label is. But Lord, as we reflect on the life of this, your precious child, would you please help us get over ourselves enough to realize that all of us have special needs? Every one of us is helpless without your help. We are lonely without your presence. We are simple without your wisdom. We are lame without your strength.

So Lord, as we celebrate the life of Gail Hampton, we celebrate the fact that our every need is met in our life with you, Lord Jesus. God, we pray for Gail’s family right now. We know that, according to your word, we don’t grieve like those who have no hope, because we know where Gail is and we know we will see her again. But that doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. So I pray for Eric and Louise, and all the rest of her family in the coming days. I pray for Gail’s friends and caregivers. I pray that they will share cherished memories of Gail, and draw comfort from one another’s stories. Continue to guide our time as we celebrate Gail’s life; comfort Gail’s family, and worship Gail’s Savior, in Whose name we pray, Amen.

[Eulogy]

Sermon (James)

They say that a good eulogy is one that makes the ones that knew the person glad they did, and those that didn’t know her wish they had. Thank you, Louise, for helping me get to know your sister in law. I know you were glad you knew her. And as I’ve listened to your stories, I wish I had known her.

Because I think we would have gotten along. I know we would have said War Eagle to each other every Sunday morning during football season, whether Auburn won or not. I know she would have shown me her Gus Malzhan poster her caregiver gave her.

I think we probably would have talked about Red Lobster. Eric and Louise told me that whenever they would come get Gail to take her out to eat, the only place she ever wanted to go was Red Lobster. And that was my first job. For a year and a half in high school I bussed tables at Red Lobster, and to this day, if I am on a trip without Trish (since she’s allergic to seafood), I will look for a Red Lobster to have a meal in.

I think we would have talked about music. Eric said when they were kids Gail loved to sit in the front yard, in an aluminum folding chair, with the radio in her lap and a perfume bottle in her hand. The perfume bottle was her microphone, and she sang along to every song. And she learned to dance from watching American Bandstand. Well, I didn’t have a perfume bottle, but I did have a hairbrush. And I didn’t watch American Bandstand, but I did watch MTV. However, apparently Dick Clark was more successful at teaching Gail how to dance than Michael Jackson was with teaching me.

I’m also very sure I would have liked Gail’s love for birthdays and Christmas. In nearly every conversation, Gail would remind the person she was talking to of how many days it was until her birthday, Christmas, or both.

I think that was the story I liked the best. From what I’ve been told, Gail was a joyful person who never lost her childlike love of life. She looked forward to Fridays because it was pizza night. She greeted every person with a smile, and she cared deeply for other people.

And she never saw herself as disabled. She had a blind and deaf roommate at one point in the group home, and she did whatever she could to help her, because she recognized a greater need in someone else.

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