Summary: A short reflection I used for an active Christian lady who passed at the age of 90 years.
One of the major themes in the book of Ecclesiastes, and certainly a theme that is reflected in our passage this afternoon, is that everything in this life, including life itself, is temporary. The author wrote that, “For everything there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die.” Words that are so relevant and appropriate to us today. In an instant – in one short sentence, the author has expressed how fragile life really is. “There is a time to be born and a time to die.”
This reminds us that life is a precious gift to be enjoyed, even though life is brief.
Today we have come together in the shadow of sorrow and grief, and yet we realise the glorious light, the greatest hope, that the world has ever known. The promise of an eternal life for the faithful Christian. Together, today, there are many wonderful memories of Doris that shine out as we remember and celebrate her life. Let us hold on to them instead of our sorrow.
There are many occasions that people draw together, but none of them affect us more than the loss of an aunty, a member of our family, a friend, and a faithful Christian woman. We gather today to remember the treasured times that we drew from her love, her strength and encouragement. We can comfort each other in this time of grief.
We know that we are creatures of time by the way we set our clocks and watches so that we will know what hour it is. We have schedules and appointments set by dates on a calendar. We know larger amounts of time by measuring the months and years. We also know the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter.
But perhaps when reflecting on someone’s life, to measure time, or years, or age, is to miss something that is so much more important. Isn’t life more than a measurement of years?
Perhaps our lives should be measured by the relationships that we have with others. That is why you are here today - isn’t it? Because you knew... You are her family in Christ, you are her friends, and you have come to remember the life of someone you knew and loved. That is important and I commend you for being here today.
We have heard this afternoon about… life and accomplishments. We have heard about her relationships with others, many of whom are here to celebrate her life. And there is so much we can learn from… life. She was an obedient servant of the Lord. She served the church, and she lovingly served God’s people. She had a steadfast faith which remained with her until she left us to go home to our Father God. She will always be remembered as a woman of love, humility, and faith.
Today we have come here not to mourn the loss of… but to celebrate her life. Her life here on earth may be over, but her life in heaven with her beloved Saviour Jesus Christ has just begun. We can rejoice because she gave us so much in her time with us, and we praise God that her life where there is no more pain, no more tears, no more concerns, no more doubt, and no more illness, has begun with our God in her new home.
There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. There is a time to mourn and a time to dance. There is a special feature to our reading today, and it is one of completeness. What do workers gain from their toil? God has made everything beautiful in its time, and he has restored… in his glorious presence. He set eternity in her heart, as he has ours, and now she gets to spend that eternity with God in all his glory.