Summary: A funeral sermon based on Psalm 23

The hymn that Muriel requested today is a hymn based on Psalm 23.

You would have heard this song on numerous occasions, especially when people are facing difficult situations and times…

Because it is a Psalm that during times of difficulty reminds us that God is always with us…

And this is not so you never experience difficulties or suffering

But to give you comfort, to guide you, to give you rest amongst the tough times

In fact this Psalm is like someone saying to you I am here for you

I will help you through this

it reflects the hope, the comfort and the future joy

that is available to each one of us today

It is a Psalm that was not just special to Muriel

In choosing this hymn Muriel is passing on a message to each one of us

Muriel is saying to each of us…

If you want to know how I lived for 83 years with all the ups and downs that I had

Listen to Psalm 23

It is a message for you

It is a message for all of her friends, family and anyone else who knew her

Listen to the message again

This time i will read from the New Living Bible translation

The LORD is my shepherd;

I have everything I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk

through the dark valley of death.

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You welcome me as a guest,

anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

What a message for each one of us to hear…

The message that no matter how tough life get’s

that God is always with us to help us…

God is always with us to comfort us….

to feed us…to serve us

God is always with us to bring us to a wonderful place and generously offering us his kindness and goodness

and from my conservations with the people who knew Muriel well

her life wasn’t always easy

and yet….

her trust in God gave her comfort

gave her strength

which we have all benefited from

through Muriel God has been part of our lives and brought something special

this is one of the characteristics of being a Christian

Christianity is not about avoiding or being isolated from difficult times

but it is about not being alone

not trying to deal with difficulty times by yourself

instead being a Christian is about experiencing the difficult times like today with other Christians, with other people and with Jesus

this helps us not only develop in character

but it also provide us with the amazing opportunity to truly experience

the love, the grace, the peace, the acceptance that only Jesus can give us

a love, grace, peace and acceptance that is long lasting

And this love is something Jesus wants each of us to have and experience

Muriel first received God’s love as a young child….

in fact as a baby….way back in 1921…

when God said to her you are special to me

welcome to my family

I will always have a place for you

And since then Jesus has been constantly been present in her life..

pursuing her when she was living on the farm in Western Australia

pursuing her when she moved from Western Australia to Tasmania

pursuing her wherever she went

pursuing her with his life…

with his gifts that included a special room in heaven

For Muriel this happened in many different ways….

Her confirmation

Her bible reading

When she received Jesus life giving blood in Holy communion

Visits from friends, church members and the various pastors that have served her.

These are all things and people that God placed into her life so that she got a sample of His goodness and kindness

And now she is receiving the full serve of God’s goodness and kindness

Jesus has opened the door to heaven for Muriel

The place where nothing perishes, spoils or fades

And says welcome!!!!

But God’s kindness and goodness is not just limited to Muriel

And she shares this with us today in choosing the hymn,

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

You see God has plenty of love and goodness for each one of us

And even when we reject it

Jesus is patiently offering it to us again and again

In many different ways and situations

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