Summary: This is a funeral sermon for a 59 year old Christian lady who died unexpectedly in the hospital.
Song: How Great Thou Art
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. John 11:25
1. The Funeral is a universal custom. It is our attempt to:
c. Offer Comfort
On his eightieth birthday, John Quincy Adams was walking slowly along a Boston street. A friend asked him "How is John Quincy Adams today?"
The former president replied graciously,
"Thank you, John Quincy Adams is well, sir, quite well, I thank you. But the house in which he lives at present is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering upon the foundations. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out, its walls are shattered, and it trembles with every wind. The old tenement is becoming almost uninhabitable, and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon; but he himself is quite well, sir, quite well."
That is the attitude we need to cultivate so that when the call home comes we may say with Paul:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4.7)
2. Funerals remind us of:
a. The Certainty of Death (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
b. The Shortness of life (James 4:14) -- this was a shocking death -- should not have happened
c. The Shortage of life (John 10:10)
1) How much do we waste on the trivial?
2) There is power in priority!
d. The sovereignty of God and Reality of Eternity.
3. We preach our funerals by the way we live. Words the family told me that described her: Loving; Caring; Serving (would help anyone if possible), Family-Oriented and Unselfish.
As a part of an assignment for a doctoral thesis, a college student spent a year with a group of Navajo Indians on a reservation in the Southwest. As he did his research he lived with one family, sleeping in their hut, eating their food, working with them and generally living the life of a 20th Century Indian. The old grandmother of the family spoke no English at all, yet a very close friendship formed between the two. They spent a great deal of time sharing a friendship that was meaningful to each, yet unexplainable to someone else.
In spite of the language difference they shared the common language of love and understood each other. Over the months he learned a few phrases of Navajo and she picked up a little of the English language. When the time came for him to return to the campus and write his thesis, the tribe held a going-away celebration. It was marked by sadness since the young man had become close to the whole village and all would miss him.
As he prepared to get up into the pickup truck and leave, the old grandmother came to tell him good-bye. With tears streaming from her eyes, she placed her hands on either side of his face, looked directly into his eyes and said, "I like me best when I'm with you." Family would feel that way with Judy. Especially true with Jesus. He brings out the best in us. We learn to see ourselves as worthy and valuable when we are in His presence.