Summary: Remembrance is what I am going to write about today.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Here, in this letter to the Philippians, Paul was writing from prison. It was around 61AD and Paul had been imprisoned. He is telling the people that he is thankful upon every remembrance of them. Remembrance is what I am going to write about today. I can talk about scripture and explain how Paul wrote this and he wrote that. I could explain how in Phil 1:3 he (Paul) was in prison in Rome and he was writing to the Philippians. I could explain how his memories were of them and how great he thought they were. However, I feel it is better to use today as an example. Memories of my oldest sister is what we have now. June 13th of 2003 she and my granddaughter were hit head on. My granddaughter is still with us today however, my sister went home to be with the Lord. It is her life and death that I am going to share here today.
Paul was thankful for the all that the Philippians had done for him. I am also thankful for all my sister did for me. Marianne was a great woman who had many struggles in her life and struggled even in her death. Paul was thankful upon every remembrance of the Philippians and I am thankful upon every remembrance of Marianne. It was how she lived her life that was a valued lesson for all. Through her life the love of God showed in what she did. Just as we are not perfect neither was she. Marianne was no different, she was not a saint nor was she free from sin. Today you will learn about a great woman who is loved and missed. You will learn of a death that was horrific, yet heroic. You will hear of sacrifice and suffering. You will see God in all His infinate wisdom and love. However, she, as we are, was forgiven. We all have free will and have to suffer the consequences of our choices.
Mariane came to earth in 1959 and lived a pretty normal life. She was a normal woman who did extraordinary things. Some of these things seemed to go unnoticed by many and mostly by her. She would give and give, she would do and do, and she would strive for more each day. Yes, she struggled with life, not being perfect yet she still pushed forward each new day. I am only going to touch on a few points of her life today as I do not want to write a entire book about her. In some ways her life was a true testimony to God and His love.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Love was evident in Marianne because she allowed God to dwell in her. I can remember many times she would take the kids and do things with them. She would run around and pick them up for church on Sundays, she would take them out for dinner or to events. She would take the time out of her busy days to take care of elderly grandparents and was always eager to step up and do what anyone asked of her. She would always put other’s needs in front of her own. Even in her last days she was doing for another. But that is a story in itself.
In June of 2003 my sister, Marianne, went home to be with the Lord. It is the memories of who she is and what she did while here on earth for which I am greatful. The most important memory I have is how she loved. I know I keep saying that but it is important for the message. See the message is not just about memories, it is about what the memories are to those of us left on earth. As I remember my sister I can go to God’s word and find her over and over again. She loved as Christ commanded us to love.
In Matthew 22
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
She loved God first and foremost and then she, through that love, was able to love others as herself. Many times I would say she probably loved others more than herself. She did not have an easy life by any means. She faced many struggles and many defeats here on earth. She, however, used each struggle and each defeat to better her love for God and was able to show that love to others. She would take time out of her day to tend to the needs of others. Many times she would take time from work and go and take Grandpa to the doctor, she would go and pick up nieces, nephews, grandchildren or other kids and spend time with them. She would always find time to show others love even if it meant she had to postpone her own needs and wants. Love shows through serving others unselfishly and Marianne did that every day.