Summary: Funeral sermon for Rubie Campbell, church member and shut-in for last several years.
Gaither Tape Playing
I want to read to you a passage from the book of 1 Corinthians.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
This morning we have come together in this service to celebrate and honor the life of Rubie Neva Campbell. Born on April 12, 1915, Rubie was born the daughter of Robert and Ada Myers in Brinker, Texas. She grew up learning the values of family and hard work, and brought those values to her marriage to Elmer Campbell on June 8th, 1935. During 62 years of marriage to Elmer, those values were put to the test, as she would rise early, getting her husband ready for work, then getting each of the kids up and going before she would spend the day doing chores and cooking around the home, all before she worked the evening shift at the Wichita Falls State Hospital for more than 30 years.
I admired what I knew of Rubie’s life as she told me of years of working, raising a family, and going into retirement. I knew her to be a very meticulous woman who took great pride in herself and in what she had. She loved her family, and on occasion would express concern for one of you over some thing that she found to be important. As you have shared with me and with one another, your mother was a fighter: a fiercely independent woman who had a great love for God, for her church, and for life. As I prepared for today’s services, I came across a poem that reminded me of your mother. It is called the Bravest Battle.
The bravest battle that ever was fought
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not,
It was fought by the mothers of men.
Nay, not with cannon nor battle-shot
With sword, or nobler pen;
Nay not with eloquent words of though
From mouths of wonderful men.
But deep in a walled-up woman’s heart
A woman who would not yield,
But bravely, silently bore her part –
Lo! There was the battlefield!
No marshalling troops, no bivouac song –
No banners to gleam and wave –
But, oh! These battles, they last so long –
From babyhood to the grave.
Yet faithful still as a bridge of stars
She fights in her walled-up town.
Fights on and on in her endless wars,
Then, silent, unseen, goes down.
Oh, Ye, with banners and battle-shot
With soldiers to shout and praise,
I tell you the kingliest victories wrought
Are won in these silent ways.
Oh, spotless woman, in a world of shame
With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as pure as you came
The queenliest warrior born.
Rubie was preceeded in death by Elmer in 1997, and is now survived by her two sons, Elmer Lynn Campbell of Garland, Texas; and David Campbell of Bloomington, Indiana; by three daughters, Jacqueline Wyatt of St. Charles, Missouri, Karla Bassett of Denison, and Mickie Ruffin of Milton, Floridy; one sister, Betty Hood of Tulsa, Oklahoma; 15 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Rubie passed from this life into eternity on her favorite holiday, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, at Homestead of Denison. She was 89 years old.
As I have thought about the passage I read to you earlier, I believe that there are few passages in all the Bible that give us cause for celebration as this one does. There are three things God would have you to notice from it that will help you through this time.
First, God Wants You To Know That You Should Celebrate Rubie’s Life
Paul has been discussing how each of us experiences at least one kind of birth, and for believers there are two births. There is a corruptible body, a physical birth that each of us experiences, and with that birth, there is a life. Each of us is given the gift of life on earth to spend. It has been rightly said that life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you want, but you only get to spend it once. Your mother spent her life, and you have as a result a lifetime of memories and thoughts to fill your hearts and minds.