Summary: Funeral: Jesus told us of our hope, our home, and how to get there.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of (name’s) family, for coming today. Over the past few days many of you have dropped in or phoned the family to offer sympathy and support. The number of people in this room, the flowers, tears, cards, food, and visits, all speak of your love for (name) and (her/his) family. It means a lot that you are here. Thank you for coming.
Prayer . . . Thank You, Father, for the years you allowed our sister/brother (name) to live among us. The lives of all who knew and loved (her/him) are better and richer and fuller for knowing (her/him) and because (she/he) was came their way.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
One of (name’s) sons told me he knew if anyone went to heaven his (mother/father) was there. I can think of no greater gift a (mother/father) can leave (her/his) children than the assurance that (she/he) is in heaven. Neither can I think of a greater gift children can give their (mother/father) than to let (her/him) have the same confidence in their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.
Let me encourage you today, cherish your memories of this dear (lady/man, wife/husband mother/father, sister/brother), friend ... as among your most valued treasures. Flowers fade. Things can be lost, broken, or stolen. But the memories are yours to keep. Little things, trivial events, a look, a laugh, (her/his) voice, the things (she/he) said, minor incidents and important moments are comprised into a private collection of memories unique to each of you. They form a kind of mental photo album of the experiences you had with (her/him).
In John 14 Jesus tells us about His Home, our Hope and How we can get there. I would like to read those comforting words of hope from God’s word. This is one of my favorite Scripture passages for occasions such as this.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
In these verses Jesus speaks the Home He has prepared for us...
Jesus begins with calming words, words of comfort. "Stop letting your hearts be troubled." He had just spoken of His own death and His disciples’ hearts were troubled. He was telling them, "Quiet your hearts. Settle your fears and anxieties. Still your anxious thoughts. Believe in God. Believe in Me too. Trust in God- and trust in Me." (GB)
Then He says, "In My Father’s house there are many rooms." In other words, there is plenty of room in His house. There is lots of room for all who will come. Overcrowding heaven is not a problem we need to worry about. We do not need to fear that we will arrive at the gates of the city to find "No Vacancy" signs posted on the walls of jasper.
Jesus says there is room for everyone who receives God’s offer of salvation. He says, "If it were not so, I would have told you." He has gone ahead to prepare a place for each of us. When (name)arrived (she/he) found there was room for (her/him). Jesus is there making our home ready for each of us right now.
The Lord also talks about the Hope of making His Home ours...
Jesus said, "If I go I will come back and take you to be with Me that you may also be where I am." That is the hope of all who believe in Him. Later in the NT the promise of Christ’s return for all who believe in Him is called "the blessed hope." (Tit. 2:13) One day Jesus will return for all who are truly His. It doesn’t matter whether we are in the grave or still living when He comes. What does matter is that we prepare to make heaven our home. Be certain your name is registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life so a place will be reserved for you.