Summary: This is a sermon and detailed memorial service for an elderly church member (a man)..
Kenneth __ ____________ Memorial Service
October 1, 2010
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Please join with me in prayer:
Heavenly Father, be with us today in this affirmation of your eternal power and grace. Open our hearts and minds to Your truth. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ by whose victory “death has lost its sting.” Amen.
HYMN OF PRAISE: “How Great Thou Art”
SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 27:1, 4-8
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
And to seek Him in His temple.
For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle
And set me high upon a rock.
SHARING OF MEMORIES
SOLO BY JIMMY _______________: “In The Garden”
Heavenly Father, You have made everything beautiful in its time. You have set eternity in the hearts of men; yet, we cannot fathom what You have done from beginning to end. We know that there is nothing better for us than to be happy in the days of Your blessings and to do good while we live. We know that everything You do, O Lord, endures forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. You do this so that we will revere You. As Your psalmist rightly asks, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” This we ask in the blessed name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
We’re assembled here to mark the earthly passing of a precious member of our church family, Kenneth ___________. We’re assembled here to say farewell . . . until the time when we’re reunited in God’s mansion, the place that Ken now calls home.
There’s not very much that I can say about Ken from my own personal experience. As you know, his medical condition had deteriorated substantially by the time I arrived here, but there’s one thing that’s been abundantly clear to me. Ken was very loved and appreciated by his Terra Bella church family and friends. That’s a legacy which required great constancy and character on his part. It’s also a legacy greatly to be admired.
There are, however, a few things I’ve learned about his personal character and life. For one thing, Ken loved to play bridge. And for another – not so unlike a few other members of this church – he enjoyed collecting antiques and buying cars. I suspect those went hand-in-hand. Ken also liked to eat at fine restaurants. But more than anything else, he loved to spend time with his family and friends.
During their long life together, Ken and Hila welcomed foreign exchange students into their home on several occasions. They also visited those students in their own countries.
One thing Ken also enjoyed doing – something which many husbands neglect – was to surprise Hila with gifts of jewelry. Ken was a very patient, caring and giving man. These qualities endeared him always, not only to his friends, but especially to his children and grandchildren of which there’s five grandchildren and five great-children. These are God’s precious gift to Ken and Hila.
All of these things tell us of the richness of God’s blessings and of Ken’s life. But there’s an even greater richness that he’s received; a richness I’d like to talk about now.
In Philippians 1:21, we read – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” When I read this verse, I can’t help but think of Ken .
When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the church at Phillipi, the circumstances of his own life weren’t exactly ideal. He was in prison – under house arrest in Rome – chained to a Roman soldier as his guard. Paul was a prisoner, and yet this entire letter shouts with triumph. It’s filled with the words “joy” and “rejoicing”.
For devoted Christians, the living of our lives is the outworking of the life and mind of Christ in our lives whatever our circumstances might be. In Ken’s circumstances, he lived the last years of his life a prisoner in body and mind to a condition over which he had no control.
To those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ – Life on earth is the best there is. For the non-Christian, it’s only natural to strive for the world’s values. Money – Popularity – Power – Prestige. But what’s the true value in such striving when we’re reminded how helpless we really are? In the end, we really have no say over the earthly destiny God has in store for us.