by Rev. Tony Cooke
Eulogy – Memories of the Person are Shared…
We are thankful for these memories, and I know this family is appreciative of the love and support they have received from so many — cards, flowers, meals, hugs… all of these bring comfort in the midst of pain.
Today is about memories.
Today is about the support of friends, and of people pulling together.
But today is about more than that. Today is about life and about death.
In spite of the beautiful flowers and the comforting music, we still feel the impact and reality of death, and we are reminded once again that…
…life is precious
…life is fragile
…life is brief
6 …All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall… Surely the people are grass.
8The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
14 …What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Life in this world — our human existence on this earth — is very temporary.
One person said: “There is nothing more certain than death, and nothing more unsure than life.”
The Bible is even very specific in referring to our bodies as tents, and for a little while, a tent can be a wonderful home. When a hiker is in the mountains, enjoying the wonderful outdoors, a tent can be exactly what he needs when he becomes weary and needs a place to rest and be refreshed.
While tents are wonderful for their intended purpose, a person doesn’t expect to live in a tent forever. Before long, a person longs “to go home” and live in a house, a structure that is much more permanent and sturdy than a tent.
You remember the Scripture read earlier. Jesus said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places. I go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, there you may be also.”
Tents are good for a purpose and helpful for a season, but they can wear out. The fabric can become weak and torn and the poles collapsing.
The Apostle Paul, speaking of the confidence possessed by a believer said (2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8)
“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven. Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
The reason that we can have joy today is because of the reality of a God who is full of mercy, and because of the reality of a place called heaven.
Heaven is a place of perfection, but perfection on our part is not one of the entrance requirements.
If it was, none of us would be going.
Heaven is a gift.
Forgiveness is a gift.
Salvation is provided by God’s love and purchased by Jesus Christ.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Note from Tony: Share the story of the person’s salvation experience. Sensitivity to family and friends is required here, as some may or may not be aware of this event in the person’s life. It is good to have discussed this with the immediate family and make sure this is something they desire.)
“The language spoken in heaven by the angels and the redeemed is the language of forgiveness. It will be the only language spoken there. No other language will be understood. It will be spoken by the seraphim and the cherubim and the whole angelic host as they praise God, the author of forgiveness and of eternal salvation. It will be spoken by all the redeemed as they greet one another on the banks of the River of Life and gather around the throne of the Lamb and sing their song unto him who loved them and washed them from their sins. But no one can learn that language after he gets to heaven. It must be learned here upon earth — in this world, and in this life.”
There is a song that _______________________ loved…
SONG: Select song that was meaningful to the deceased (if applicable)