Summary: Paul's description of journeying through death.
From what I’ve learnt about….. and the Family I see her life has been one of journeying …
5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.[a] 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
I find the words of Paul a reassurance and a confirmation of what is to come.
This description of our bodies as a tent, Paul this hard man who had undergone so many things, being a Pharisee he was initially as a persecutor of the followers of Jesus, Paul who was blinded as he encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus, who had his sight restored by this same Jesus as he came to faith. This man, Paul, who was jailed, whipped, stoned and left for death for his faith. This man who drifted at sea after the ship he was travelling on sank, who in the physical suffered much, but looked at his body as being a tent that he would one day leave behind as he journeyed through death to new life and a new heavenly body when he was with God. He knew this was to occur for he had the Spirit of God with him on his earthly journey. Paul who wrote much of the New Testament from jail, knew he would receive the freedom of a new body in heaven…Paul was a man of faith.
In the same way our sister I Christ, … has travelled through death and is now present with God. We know this, for Jesus went before us as the first born the first resurrected from the dead.
…. was a faithful believer in her Lord and had been a Salvation Army soldier since………………………... Her passing, her promotion to glory has left us grieving. We can find much of this hard to understand for this is a difficult thing to comprehend.
But we live with an assurance. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians tells us that; “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NLT).
So for now we hold fast to the assurance that … is with her Lord. Be assured also looking forward to that time when you also will know everything completely. For now we rest in the promise of that sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life.
Time for the Family to make comment, to share a memory
As our sister is now with our Father in Heaven sister, in the home prepared for her, we now commit her body to the elements, in the certainty of the resurrection and of the eternal wisdom and mercy of God.
God bless and comfort us the bereaved! (Amen)
May you live in the assurance of life everlasting, that you may rejoice, encouraging one another, knowing the God of love and peace is present with you. Amen.