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Summary: Words of Assurance given at a funeral of a young man who I did not know.

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Grace and peace to all who have gathered this morning to remember, reflect and rejoice as we celebrate the life of Mr. J.R. Reid Franklin. This is a time to mourn because the earthly journey of someone so young has come to an end. But this is also a time to rejoice because to depart from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Please turn with me to Luke 7:11-16

11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”

Let us pray …

When I was a teenager and a young adult I use to love rap music. As a matter of fact, I was at the movies watching “Straight Outta Compton” when I received a text from Sister Raven letting me know her cousin was murdered. I never had the pleasure of meeting Rollin Reid but I have watched his videos. And he had some skills … But you know he is so much more than a rap artist. He is a beloved son, brother, boyfriend and father and he will always be cherished in the hearts of Fern, Jalen, Tamika, Catrina, Wilton and all of his family and friends.

It is so easy to take life for granted. We know we all must die but most of us assume or at least we hope that it will be when we are old. So when a young man dies it is a stark reminder that death is just around the corner and it could greet any one of us on any given day. Tomorrow is not promised which is why we must live each day to its fullest.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus came to bring us life … so wherever and whenever he encountered death or a dead situation he brought forth new life. One day Jesus was hanging out with his boyz the Bible calls them disciples, when they saw a funeral procession coming down the street. A young man had died … maybe he had cancer … maybe he had AIDS … maybe he was murdered just like Reid we just don't know. We don't know because the Bible does not tell us and perhaps the Bible does not tell us because how he died is not nearly as important as the fact that he was dead … a young life had been cut short. The Bible does not tell us how this young man died but it does let us know that his mother, his family, his friends and his community were grieving his death.

As the mother and the community were walking down the street crying … as they carried this young man to be buried they encountered Jesus. Let me pause for a moment and say when you meet Jesus your life will never be the same. I don't care what you are going through … disappointment, despair, disease or even the death of a love one. When you meet Jesus your life will never be the same! {Preaching moment}


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