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Summary: Memorial service sermon for Lillie Mae Scales Fontaine, who died on Easter Sunday

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Lillie Mae Scales Fontaine went through an open door on

Easter Sunday morning. I cannot imagine a better time to

die than that day, can you? Just imagine – on the very

day when much of the Christian world is focused on an

empty tomb and on the promise of life everlasting, Lillie

Fontaine personally saw that bright promise fulfilling.

How glorious it would be to go through that open door on

the anniversary of that day when the gates of death itself

were crashed! I think of it as a special gift the Lord gave

her, as if He had not already given enough.

Our Jewish friends, at the same time we were celebrating

Holy Week and Easter, were celebrating Passover.

Passover commemorates the gift of freedom for Israel.

God brought them out of Egypt and slavery with a mighty

hand and an outstretched arm. And not only did God

deliver them from slavery, He did more: He overthrew

Pharaoh and his army in the waters of the sea. Liberty

would have been enough; but God did more. And more

again: not only did God deliver the people from slavery,

and not only did He overthrow Pharaoh and his army, but

also God gave the people manna and quail for food. It

would have been enough to have had liberty and the

defeat of the enemy, but God did more.

And so when the Jews today celebrate Passover, there is

a song they sing called “Dayenu”. When you sing

“Dayenu”, you sing, “It would have been enough …”. You

tell of all the wonderful things, gift upon gift, that God

gave His people, and then you follow each of those gifts

with the phrase, “Dayenu”, “it would have been enough”.

But there is always more.

May I suggest this afternoon that for Lillie Fontaine,

“dayenu”, it would have been enough that God give her

long life, well beyond the normative threescore and ten.

But God gave more. God gave her not only long

life, but a rich and full life as well. “Dayenu”, it would

have been enough, but God gave more.

It would have been enough that God give Lillie a loving

husband and a lovely child or two. But God gave her

more – nine children and many grandchildren. “Dayenu”,

it would have been enough, but God gave more.

It would have been enough that God give her a large and

loving family. But God gave her more – children who are

accomplished and grandchildren who are making their

marks in the world, truly a distinguished tribe! “Dayenu”,

it would have been enough, but God gave more.

It would have been enough that God give her a home and

a place in the community and respect in the

neighborhood. But God gave her more – families and

children for whom she cared and whom she helped to

shape. “Dayenu”, it would have been enough, but God

gave more.

It would have been enough that God put her into a small

church to help it grow and thrive. But God gave her more

– putting her and her family into a series of small and

struggling congregations to help them through their

growing pains. “Dayenu”, it would have been enough, but

God gave more.

It would have been enough that God send her around the

corner in her senior years to this fellowship for worship.


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