Summary: This is the service for one of our members who went to be with our Savior last night. I hope that the joy of knowing her comes through in the words of this service.
We gather here today, not to celebrate death, but to celebrate life; eternal life. Suzie’s temporary life on earth is now over, but her permanent life in Heaven with her Savior, Jesus Christ, has just begun.
If we could picture her entrance to Heaven, we would see all the saints that ever went on before her, rejoicing and welcoming her home with their arms wide open. What a beautiful way for God to celebrate the homecoming of one of His children!
We praise God today that Suzie’s new life with no pain, no turmoil, and no setbacks has began in her new home that she looked so forward to.
I did not have the privilege of knowing her for very long, but she and Keith will always be very special to me. I came to Oklahoma to preach at this church for the very first time back in November of last year. At the end of that sermon, they immediately came up to join the church. Both Keith and Suzie have always impressed me greatly.
Suzie would occasionally call me during the day to talk about a project we had talked about starting for the church. During one of these calls, she told me how glad she was that she had accepted Jesus as her Savior, and that she had been baptized.
Suzie had a great sense of humor, too. She found something to at least grin about in almost every situation. When we finally got the parking lot at the church put in, it was raining one day and I told her I was sure glad we had the parking lot then. Suzie grinned and said I just wanted to get out of shining my shoes again.
We realize that we have been very blessed by God for having the privilege of knowing Suzie and having her to share a portion of her life with us.
Let us pray.
Dear Father, giver of all life, we confess to You our difficulty in accepting death as part of Your plan for eternal life.
We confess our hesitation to commit to You, those we love. We apologize to You for not realizing that You love them more than we do. And, we thank you for our faith that we may come to trust in Your care and grow in your love even more. It is in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
In Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, there is a monument that commemorates that great discoverer.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the monument is the statue of a lion at the base of it, where the Spanish national motto is engraved. The lion is reaching out with its paw and destroying one of the Latin words that had been a part of Spain’s motto for centuries.
That motto was “No More Beyond.” See, before Columbus discovered America, Spain thought that everyone had already reached the outer limits of the earth. Columbus had proven that there really is “More Beyond”, and that is why the lion is tearing away at the “NO” in the motto, leaving “More Beyond.”
And the same is true for Suzie, and others, who have discovered Jesus. There is “more beyond”. Everyone who is born into this world will also have to leave it, and for most people their deepest instincts and convictions tell them there is something beyond the grave.
This place we are call ‘home’, this sinful earth, has so many troubles, pain, anguish and hurt that it cannot really be a home. There is a better place, and our Suzie is in it now.
For each of us, there comes a particular moment when all time stops; a moment when we leave the bonds of time and enter another world; the world of eternity.
In eternity, we shall go one of two places. We can be forever in the present of God, or forever without God.
Death is not the end. Death for the Christian is just the beginning; the beginning of a journey that will lead to God. To a Christian, death is the doorway that just takes us home
Aren’t you thankful that what happens between our birth and burial is not all there is? In ISAIAH, it says the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. In this sense, we can praise God that Suzie will suffer no more evil or hard times.
God’s word tells us that there will be no more tears in Heaven, and that old things will not be remembered. Suzie has gone on to a place where God will wipe away every tear from her eyes and she will never again remember the bad things of her time on this earth.
Having lost loved ones, I know that it is very hard to rejoice at a time like this, but rejoice we must. We must rejoice that as much as we miss her, Suzie is with the Lord and will never again feel bad.