Summary: This message was created for someone who I did not personally know, but whom others said was a christian. It is easily adaptable.
Good morning, and thank you for coming.
Today, we’ve come to celebrate the life and share the loss of Myrna Fawn Ramsey…known to most as simply…”Fawn.” We’ve come to remember, tell stories, and say good-bye to Fawn. And as hard as it is, this service will help us begin the process of letting go so we can begin the process of grieving.
Also, this is a time for us to take a look at our own lives. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says this: “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every person; the living should take this to heart.” Today makes us face the fact that we all are mortal. None of us will live in this body forever. So, this is a great time to ask some tough questions. Questions like, “Am I ready to die?” and “Where will I go when my life is over?” These are questions that are tough to ask, but need to be answered nonetheless.
But, as we begin, I must admit that I feel a little bit awkward…a little inadequate. Fawn was a longtime member of Colby Wesleyan Church, and although I am the pastor of the Wesleyan Church, I really didn’t know her all that well. When I came to Colby, Fawn had already been in the nursing home for a number of years. When I visited Fawn, I knew that the lady I was seeing was not the lady that I had heard of before she had her stroke. So I stand here today and admit that I am saddened that there was no way I could get to know Fawn the way I would like to have known her.
So, in this service today, I can only go on what others tell me. As I talked with those who knew Fawn well, there were a few things that came up time and again.
I was told that Fawn:
· Was the oldest of eleven children
· Had eight children of her own
· Cared deeply about her family, and made it a habit to go without so that others would benefit.
· Was in the first class to go through nursing school at Colby Community College.
· Loved to watch basketball and baseball
· Had a fantastic voice and loved to sing
· Was faithful in coming to church and would often sing specials
From what I have heard, it sounds like Fawn was a simple and caring person who sacrificed for her family. That is what was said about her in her physical life. But, as you may be aware, we are body, soul and spirit. What about her spiritual life?
If it was true what others said about Fawn’s spiritual life, then there are a few things that we can know for sure. We can know that:
· She knew the one who said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes unto the father but through me.” We can be sure she came to God the Father the only true way…through Jesus Christ.
And if she knew the One who is“the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” then there are some additional things we can know for certain about Fawn…We can know that:
· She no longer has a feeble and worn down body. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 “For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down-when we die and leave these bodies-we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself and not by human hands. (TLB)
· She is feeling no more pain… Rev 21:3-4 "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
· Unlike the last few years of her life, she now has a clarity of mind which we can only imagine and envy… 1 Corinthians 13:12 “we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.”
· (and this is my favorite) Fawn has PERSONALLY seen the risen Jesus…FACE TO FACE! Not the Jesus represented by media…frail and feminine…but the REAL Jesus… the RESURRECTED Jesus that John saw in Rev. 1:14-18. Listen carefully as John describes what he saw, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (NIV)