Closing Eyes to this world, Emerging into Life Everlasting-A Funeral Sermon

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Although death is a part of life’s journey

Death is not the end,

For we dive into the waters,

Emerging New,

Into the Arms of the One who Comes to Transform this World,

Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Lord

Amen.

 (pause)

There are no words.

This past week was supposed to be

A time of giving thanks,

Of celebrating new beginnings

As our Church Year once more turns,

And we turn our hearts towards

Waiting

Hoping

Witnessing to the miracle of new life!

But instead it seems time has stopped

Stalled

And we are stuck here in this sorrowful time

Sorrows that suddenly shower down upon our very being

Like a bitter rain

As we sit drifting out in the cradle of a boat

On what we thought would be the perfect afternoon,

Waiting for that perfect catch

Frustrated when it slips through our hands

Feeling empty when we have no control

On how the nets will fall

Confused

Angered

Because we have followed all the directions

The steps

The motions

We have been faithful in our witness

Our serving

On being present with a community of faith

And in the midst of the storm

Something so precious to us

Someone we were able to hold onto

To Love

To proudly travel alongside in the journey

Claiming as our own

Slips through our fingers

Back into those healing, baptismal waters

Free to swim, to explore life everlasting

Without us.

(pause)

Jesus,

In our Gospel text this morning

Patiently endures our floundering

Through Agape,

Through a Love that passes all understanding

Teaching the disciples and us

That we cannot remain rooted to one fragment

One section

One portion of this world,

This journey

And think that somehow think that we will receive

Experience

Perfection

Instead of allowing ourselves to breath into the mystery

Of the Holy Spirit

Drowning our old selves from the fear,

Freeing our very being

To follow in the waves and the wake

In the direction that the Holy Spirit opens up to us

Carrying,

Bringing with us our vulnerability

Our willingness

And suddenly the Creator pours into our nets

Even more!

More joyfulness

More happiness

More ways that we are able to give and serve others,

In the beloved community

More ways that along our life’s pathways

We are able to stand and raise our heads

Because we know we are beloved children of God

An unique example

Of how the community of faith should live out our lives,

As sisters and brothers in Christ.

It was that unique community and understanding

Of how we are connected

through bonds that are unbreakable

Because of the Cross which is etched upon us,

Because of the Table which feeds us

Because of the call to discipleship within us-

That was Gail’s and Dick’s reality

Gail’s kindness was infectious, right?

She just did for people

Because she understood Christ’s call-

Later on in this passage,

Jesus charges Peter to tend to His sheep,

And feed His lambs

And Gail did that

She cared for children who were not her own

She wanted to open up the beauty of Creation,

So that people could experience it themselves,

Through travel, right?

She was generous with who she was

To those who were fortunate to have known her.

(pause)

This is supposed to be a time of celebration,

Because we are joyously waiting the coming

Of the Christ child

And yet,

We are in the midst of pain.

Pain because an empty chair,

An empty space in the pew

And its just unfair.

We’re broken and irate at death,

But in these moments when the harshness of the cold rain

Threatens to cloud and dampen our very being,

“He will swallow up death forever,

God Our Creator will wipe away the tears

From all faces”

Every time death encroaches where it is not wanted,

Jesus Christ,

Stands at the Tomb

Stands at the crossroads

Calls to US, saying

COME OUT

LIVE

Know that this-

This is not the end!

The Good News is that Jesus does not abandon us

Jesus stretches out His hands

Hands full of MERCY AND GRACE

The power TO HEAL US

Bringing US TO EVERLASTING LIFE

(pause)

For now,

We must open our hands,

Allow those that we love so dearly

Those who have heard the Creator’s Voice

Calling them home,

We must allow their gentleness to drift from our hands

As they gracefully turn, enfolded in the healing waters below

To swim free,

Free from pain, from suffering

To emerge whole,

Healed,

Into the joyous life everlasting

While we carry on their legacy of love,

And of Peace.

Knowing that they are

Beyond the Veil

Watching, Waiting,

And Loving US.

Thanks Be to God.

 

 

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