Summary: This funeral was for Tom, a 68 year old man who was not a church-goer.
Song – Peace in the Valley
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy. Psalm 145.14-20
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."
If we live long enough, each of us will have a similar statement before we pass. Tom Silvers had his health issues and in all probability, we will as well.
Funerals remind us of:
1. The Certainty of Death (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
2. The Shortness of life (James 4:14)
3. The Shortage of life (John 10:10)
4. The sovereignty of God and Reality of Eternity.
Purpose of Funerals
1. Honor a loved one
2. Comfort a family
3. Reconnect with priorities
4. To remember
a. We generally want to remember our past.
• Story-tellers of Indians, etc.
• Photo albums – video slide show at the end of the service
• Monuments; headstones
o An anonymous tombstone: I was somebody. Who is no business of yours! (Stowe, Vermont)
o In a Georgia cemetery: I told you I was sick!"
o In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June Jonathan Fiddle - Went out of tune.
b. We also want to be remembered – we give pictures and gifts to be remembered.
Characteristics of Tom
1. To his family
Davina: He was our step-dad but to us he was always our dad
Tom and Sue were married 30 years; with this marriage Tom inherited and instant family with two teenagers and a married daughter who was expecting a child; He said that in one day he made his parents – In-Laws; Grandparents; and Great Grandparents at one time
2. To his employer – long-term employment except for USN years – Western Electric to AT & T; Lucent
3. To his country – USN – not easy in Vietnam era
4. To his neighbors and friends – “Neighborhood Grandpa”
5. To his community – Even though he was a Indianapolis Colts fan; he was also an OKC Thunder fan – he had been looking forward to watching the Thunder and the Pacers play (win-win for him?) but he was unable to see the game
• Learned to service computers from CVTC
• Earned Outstanding Student Awards for two years
• When working on computers no problem would get the better of him – he would work until he found the solution, even if it took days
Song – Amazing Grace
An Appeal through Amazing Grace
John Newton wrote Amazing Grace
He never forgot what God di for him. Until the day he died he always referred to himself as “The old African slave trader” or “The old blasphemer.” That is what he was before grace.
Over his fireplace in Olney, England, where he was a Pastor for 16 years, there was a plaque that he always saw on his way in or out of his study. It read: “Thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt and the LORD they God redeemed thee. Deuteronomy 15.15.” an old English way of saying I do not want to forget what God did for me. He never did.
Amazing Grace, was written in 1773. It was written as many of John Newton’s songs. When he would preach a sermon, he would often write a hymn to go along with it. He spent time preparing his sermon and then an equal amount of time preparing a hymn.
We would not recognize the song as Newton presented it to his congregation. In that day, they would write the words to the hymn and then find a tune to go with it. Amazing Grace had 20 tunes before it received the melody we are familiar with. The melody was called “New Britain.” It was married to the words of John Newton in 1829. Even the name of the song was not “Amazing Grace.” It was “Faith Review and Expectation.”