Summary: Our value is on the inside of the box.
Song “The Lord’s Prayer”
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Song “Peace in the Valley”
We are here today to celebrate the life of Charles Spinner. Linda knew him as husband, others as brother, some as father, and others as friend. Charles was my brother-in-law who was the silent type with me. He never seemed to say anything until he had something to say. I remember times of watching his interactions with his mother-in-law as she often barked orders and his simple compliances to her wishes. At times this was comical.
However I was able to talk with Charles about his relationship with Jesus. He prayed the sinner’s prayer and felt assured about his salvation and his destination. The last time we spoke I remarked “It’s been a tough battle for you, hasn’t it?” to which he replied “It’s not my battle.” This assured me of his complete surrender to the Lord and his acceptance of God’s will.
Psalm 23 speaks of us walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.” For Charles, he found peace walking through the valley because for followers of Jesus, this is a but a shadow of death.
A shadow can not harm you. As you drive down the interstate a truck may pass you and cast a shadow on your car. But that shadow can not wreck you. It is harmless. So is death to a follower of Jesus. It’s nothing more than a shadow.
Charles did not walk that valley alone. We are told in the Bible that when a believer dies, he is carried through the valley of the shadow of death into the presence of the Lord by angels. (Luke 16:22) If those who were with him that day could have seen with spiritual eyes they would have witnessed Charles being lifted from his earth bound body by angels and carried away.
Charles left that Hospice room and found himself in heaven. We wonder what it is like there. We all have our own versions. But the Bible gives us a glimpse of this glorious place in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 4, verses 1-11.
John, the writer of Revelation, tells us that he saw a door standing open in Heaven and was commanded to go through it. There he saw a throne with someone sitting on it. The one sitting there glowed like brilliant gems. He was surrounded by people dressed in white robes and golden crowns on their head. And there were also strange looking angel-like creatures who kept saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
When those around the throne heard this they fell to their knees in worship, laid their crowns at the feet of the one on the throne, and said
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
I believe that Charles is now a part of that crowd of worshipers. Charles now lives in a place that knows no time, no sickness, and no pain. And the one he worships is the Lord, Jesus Christ who gave his life one the cross so that Charles could find his life in heaven.
Song “The Old Rugged Cross”
I hold in my hand a box. In that box is a ring. The ring is of great value. Let’s look at this ring as an engagement ring. It was purchased at a great expense. It was purchased out of a deep love.
The one who purchased it will keep track of this box. He will keep somewhere safe, checking to make sure it is still where he left it. He will hold the box tightly in his pocket, making sure it doesn’t fall out. When the time is right he will present the box to the one he loves in anticipation of her response being favorable.
But once the ring is removed, the box becomes of no value. This box that was so important to safely store and treasure was only the vessel to carry what was really of great value. The thing of great value, the ring, has been placed on the finger where it belongs. So it is with Charles. He was of great value to God and is now where he was created to be, with God.