Summary: This is a funeral service for a deeply commited Christian man who imitated Jesus by serving his spouse and others. In John 14:1 Jesus promised to "take each beleiver home". He does not delegate this task. Death is an intruder into our world but it is no
In Jesus Holy Name
September 29, 2007
“Memories: Eternity Secured by Jesus”
In our liturgy for today we spoke the words of Jesus as recorded by the apostle John: “Jesus said, do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.”
Note the promise of Jesus. “I will come back and take you to be with me.” He pledges to come and take us to our eternal home in heaven. He does not delegate this task. He may send missionaries to teach you, angels to protect you, teachers to guide you, singers to inspire you, and physicians to heal you, but he sends no one to take you home. He is our personal savior. That’s why the Psalmist can offer these words of hope: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me.”
________ had no fear. God’s word and promises were in his heart. In each of the past three years he read through the entire bible. He knew that he was a sheep in the Lord’s hand. From day of his baptism he was “adopted into the family of God”. God created him and placed him into the Christian home ______________. He confirmed his faith in his confirmation vows in the Lutheran church in Nebraska. It was “God’s plan to make _________ holy and blameless in His sight. In love God predestined _________ to be adopted as his son, through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4&5)
_________ knew that heaven was his eternal home, not because of any good that he had done through out his life, but because he always trusted the promise of God. “…through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, _________ had the forgiveness of his sins..” Therefore he simply had the responsibility to imitate Jesus. He knew that he was created to do “good works which God had prepared in advance for him to do.”
He kept in step with God’s spirit through out his earthly journey. He stayed connected to Jesus by reading the bible and having daily devotions. He loved reading the Portals of Prayer. It was very, (I might emphasis) “very” important to be on time for Sunday worship. He took his wedding vows seriously. He always had his wife’s best interests in his heart. He was an honest business man, using his time and talents wisely to serve others. His heart was always warm, visible by his welcoming smile.
___________ knew and trusted the promises of God. Just this summer after his first surgery, God granted him a vision of heaven. He was never able to find human words to explain the colors and the light he saw, but these words repeated three times: “God will take care of you.” “God will take care of you.” “God will take care of you.”
The words of Psalm 23 were true… ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will not be afraid.” _______ cherished the words sung in Sunday worship, the words scripture gave him confidence.
Families and individuals create events, and memories are cherished. Then there are times when events create family memories.
Response to tragic events, difficult circumstances will expose one’s character and inner soul to a world that wants to pass by and move on to another day.
____________ was a quiet saint. He would come to church and enjoy the presence of his Lord. His faith was tested by life’s events exposing to the world a woman of faith. He knew the promise of resurrection was secured by the cross of Christ.
Painful events and joyful memories all swirl together on days like today. Like an unwelcome intruder, death has made a rude entrance into your family and your friendships. The problem with death is that it’s almost always unexpected. Even when a doctor says that someone is about to die, death still has a way of ambushing us. It’s always abrupt, even when the family is prepared for it. Today, family members feel the anxiety of separation, the pain of loss. Recent joys now become cherished memories.
Memories will bring life to photos in a memory book.
Jesus offers hope even in the face of death. The post modern society in which we live offers no hope beyond this earthly life. When our heart ceases to beat and our brain waves are silent…what lies beyond the portal at the moment of death? Some in our culture would like to convince themselves that this present life is all there is… but in reality there are few of these people. Most people try to invent their own version of God or mix a little Christian hope that they’ve picked up with their own version of what is acceptable, for they are still in the grip of the fear of death.