Summary: Used at a funeral for an older gentleman but could apply to many.
Good afternoon and welcome. We’ve gathered today to remember and to celebrate the life of ______
John 11:25-26 (NASB)
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Lord we’ve gathered today in your sight to remember and honor the life of _________ and to help his family and friends walk this journey through the valley of the shadow of death. We pray today as Job prayed so many years ago:
Job 1:21 (NASB)
“…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
You gave us _______ as a special gift. He was indeed a special husband to his children, a husband who treasured his wife, a brother, and a good friend to many. Thank you for the gift of _________ life.
And now that he is gone from us, we can only say to you, Blessed be the name of the LORD. You are a good God and we trust you in this journey. We honor Your Name today.
We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen
Sharing memories of ______________
Dying at age 85, many would say that _________ lived a long good life. But death always seems to come too soon and we never feel quite prepared for it.
While _________ has moved on from here, we are left with his memory. I’d like at this time to ask you as friends and family to share a brief statement of remembrance about __________. What positive thing will you remember about him?
MESSAGE: How should we think about death?
We don’t come to this place often and so it’s good for us to take this opportunity to think about the meaning of death in our own lives.
When we think about death, there’s more to it than meets the eye. In fact, I believe we know very little about death. But the Bible gives us clues to understanding death.
I want to give you a couple of pictures of death today, not to minimize it’s impact but to reveal more of the realities of death. Because everyone of us will one day take this journey of facing our own mortality.
Pictures of Death
I. Death is like a thief.
1. Jesus once told a story about a man who was living to gather things. He had so much stuff that he had to keep buying larger houses to put it all in (or build larger barns). He was living for today and for all of the things money could buy. But suddenly all of that didn’t matter.
Luke 12:20 (NASB)
20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'
2. I’m telling this story because DEATH STEALS FROM US in this life by suddenly separating us from the people and things we’ve come to care about. It robs us. Now obviously the man in this story was caring about the wrong things in life – things rather than people. But death snuck up on him and robbed him.
3. A little while back, our church office building was broken into by thieves who took some of our equipment. Personally I’ve had my car broken into a couple of times. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced things being stolen.
Each time it happens, you feel so violated – so unprotected. And you get angry, don’t you! I know I do.
Death is like that. It’s a reality of life that we never seem quite prepared for. And what it takes from us are our most valued possessions – our relationships with people we love.
The people we talk with, the people we dream with, the people we laugh with, the people we fight with, the people we cry with. Death steals them away.
4. And so the lesson from this story is this: Protect what is truly valuable – your relationships – with each other and with God. Jesus told us these should be our highest priority – Loving God and loving our neighbor.
II. Death is like a shadow.
1. We’re probably all familiar with these words from Psalm 23
Psalm 23:1-6 (NASB)
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.