Summary: A Funeral Sermon
God Is Watching Us (Ruthann Ineichen)
- Read Obit (if available) –
Friends and family of Ruthann, you have gathered here today in the midst of your grief and your mourning. May the grace and comfort of Jesus Christ shine forth to you who mourn today, as the Bible promises that those who mourn will be comforted.
Let us pray:
God of us all, we thank you for Christ’s grace, through which we pray to you in this dark hour. A life that was loved was torn from those who loved her. Expectations the years once held have vanished. The mystery of death has struck again. O God, you know the lives we live and the deaths we die—woven so strangely of purpose and of chance, of reason and of the irrational, of strength and of frailty, of happiness and of pain. Into your hands we commend the soul of Ruthann. No mortal life you have made is without eternal meaning. No earthly fate is beyond your redeeming. Through your grace that can do far more than we can think or imagine, fulfill in Ruthann your purpose that reaches beyond time and death. Lead Ruthann from strength to strength, and fit her for love and service in your kingdom. Into your hands we also commit our lives. You alone, God, make us to dwell in safety. Who finally have we on Earth or in Heaven but you? Help us to know the measure of our days, and how frail we are. Save our minds from despair and our hearts from fear. And guard and guide us to your peace. Amen.
The Book of Ecclesiastes says, “Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. There is a time for birth and a time for death…God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,11).
We cannot always understand why bad things happen. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good people die long before the evil ones? We cannot answer that question, but often God is taking care of us without our even being aware. To illustrate this point, I would like to share a short story with you entitled "Is Your Hut Burning."
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.
The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
You see; it is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground…it just may be a smoke signal that summoning the Awesome Grace of God.
That is the great news of God that there is someone there that can guide us and heal us. In Hebrews 13:5, God tells us that he “will never leave us.” Isn’t that great to hear that in the loneliest times of our lives, and especially in times such as this where grief can make us feel as though we are the only person around, God is there. He is watching over us, he is constantly on guard trying to bring us ever closer to him.
When Jesus walked this earth, he conquered death by dying on the cross. He offered us a way to meet him and his father in Heaven when we die. The bible tells us “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” We are further told that death has lost its sting. No longer does death hold fear over us. We are told that as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we need not fear death for God is with us. God is with us. The poem “Footprints” is an excellent example of this.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.