Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A eulogy for a relative


My name is Chuck Anderson. I’m D-’s nephew. The reason I’m here this morning to honor C- is because S- asked me to say a few words on the family’s behalf.

I didn’t know C- as well as I might have liked. But as all of you know, there are a few things about her that become immediately apparent when you meet her. She loved her family. And she was faithful to her family and to her church right to the end.

I’ve heard it said a lot that funerals are as much for the living as they are for the departed. In that regard, there are a few things that C-’s life illustrates for us that we need to walk away with today.

The first thing we know about C- is that she loved her family. She loved her sisters and she loved her children. This reminds me of a passage in the Gospels where Jesus asks
Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

God loves to fill the world with sign posts that point to who he is. (We’ve all seen another one today at the Lord's table—Jesus tells us to remember his work on the cross when he says “this is my body, this is my blood, given for you!") Jesus knows the world is filled with evil—he knows that if you and I look in our hearts we will find sin and selfishness. But in spite of that reality that exists in all of us, C- loved her children and she loved her sisters. She loved her family. How much more, then, does God love you?

The second thing we know about C- is that she was faithful—faithful to her family and to her church right to the end. My mother told me that before she passed away, C- pulled aunt S- aside and had her promise to take good care of uncle D-. And I know that she loved her church and if her health had allowed, she would have been very active right to the end. The question is, then, what produces faithfulness? The answer is hope. Romans 5 says “Since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” where do we find hope? In our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a passage in 1 Corinthians 15 that talks about Jesus’s resurrection—we’ve just celebrated his resurrection at Easter. The apostle says that because of Jesus’ resurrection, the saying is true that says
Death is swallowed up in Victory!
O death where is your victory?
O death where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is our hope: even though the wages of sin is death, the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Even while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Death is hard, and the separation that comes with the death of a loved one hurts. So know that it is okay to feel that. But take heart—Jesus has defeated death. Death is dead. Jesus is risen. If you and I trust in him, we will surely be raised with him too.

Jesus says “Now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation.” He says "Come to me all who are weary and burdened." Bring your mourning to Jesus. He will help you bear it. And whether you’ve trusted in Jesus as long as you can remember, or never at all, let us find hope in him today.

Let’s pray.

Date: 9 April 2013
Location: St Joseph's Church, Lakeland, FL
Event: C-'s Funeral

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