Saying Goodbye: Funeral Service for Doris Hale

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

Regardless of where you are

In your faith journey,

Know that the Creator is always present

In your joys,

In your sorrows

And opens up everlasting peace,

To all of us,

As God’s Children

Amen.

(pause)

Why must

The terrible waiting

For healing

Sometimes end

With us,

Having to let go

Of our loved ones

And not have any control

Or say so;

Not knowing what will happen,

Only,

Having to rely

On our Faith,

On the promises

Made in baptism

Made here at the Table,

That God

Will never leave us,

Nor forsake us

(pause)

And yet,

We cry out to God

About the ravages of illnesses

Of diseases we still don’t have the answers to

Of endless questions,

I lift my eyes to the hills,

From where is my help to come?

Frustrations

With nights in hospitals

And days tucked away

Coping with pain

And wondering,

When God, when?

“From where is my help to come?”

(pause)

The Psalmist seems to be rooted,

Self assured

In her faith

“God will not let your foot be moved;

The Lord your God,

who keeps you will not slumber.”

But, God

If these words are truth

Why then, are my feet so raw

Of running from this broken world

Of its pitfalls

God,

You must be sleeping

Because you’ve not heard our cries

Our stumblings

As we have fallen miserably,

Into ditches,

That the brokenness of this world

Has laid out

Like traps

For us, your children.

“The Lord is your keeper;

the Lord is your shade at your right hand”

The disciples heard these ancient words,

These songs,

And because of the promises of God,

They followed this Jesus,

Because of the Psalmist proclaiming

That help can only come from God,

God, our Creator,

Of every living thing,

They followed Jesus Christ,

The Messiah!

The Son of God!

Here!

Here was the Lamb of God who had come to take away

ALL

All the sins, and the sorrows

Of this world.

Here!

The Kingdom of God was upon that horizon

That hill,

And soon

These faithful sisters and brothers,

Connected to one another because of God,

Would be free

From the oppressiveness of their lives,

In the shadow of a corrupt Empire

(pause)

And yet,

Here in our Gospel this morning,

Jesus proclaims to them,

That He must die

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

(pause)

How many times

Have we heard this Gospel,

As we gather in hospital rooms,

By bedsides

Among ourselves

Immersed in prayer,

These are the times we struggle with our faith,

Because we are troubled,

We are torn with anger

Because we can’t fight these illnesses

Which rob us,

Of time with those we love,

And rob them,

Of being to be present with us.

We cry out to God about our faithfulness,

We cry out about their faithfulness,

That alone,

God should have healed them!

We are deep in sorrow,

Because what else can we do?

Death comes and interrupts our lives,

Death hurts

Death, yes, just plain sucks.

(pause)

And yes,

Even as we weep,

There are tears of relief,

Relief because our loved one,

Our Mother,

Grandmother

Friend

Sister in Christ,

Is in no more pain.

And that’s hard to confess, right?

Because we wanted her here.

Doing all of the things she loved,

Spoiling us,

Listening to us as we shared our daily, mundane stories of our life

Being an example of living out her faith

Serving with joy, the community that loved her back

(pause)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

See,

That is Good News right here.

Because even as we grieve,

And will continue to grieve,

Doris was not only surrounded by those who loved her deeply,

In these moments when we question,

Struggle

God loves us

God weeps with us,

And because of Jesus Christ,

God opens up God’s Kingdom

To us,

In that last moment,

When our eyes are closed to this world,

And opened,

HEALED

WHOLE

ETERNALLY

To be with God!

(pause)

Doris was not alone,

And in that moment,

Her spirit was filled

Lifted

Renewed

And Loved,

Because of the promises that God gives to us

God will never forsake us

God will always forgive us

And God gave us,

Jesus Christ,

Whose body and blood reveals for us,

Forgiveness

Empowers us,

Through Love

Whose resurrection secures for us

An unbreakable BOND with our Creator

(pause)

Death,

Is not the end.

Doris now,

Continues her journey,

With all the saints

And we,

Because we know we will see her again,

We are to live our lives fully,

Love and care for one another deeply,

And walk purposefully,

With what God has given to each of us,

Just as we know she would have,

Just as Jesus Christ calls us to.

Thanks Be to God.

 

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