Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Funeral Sermon for Carol Krueger

In the Name of Christ Jesus, our Advent King +
          Kay and Kristy, Suzanna, Rebecca, Weston, and Maverick, family and friends of our sister in Christ Carol, grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.  I come oh Savior to Thy table, for weak and weary is my soul.  Thou, Bread of Life alone art able to satisfy and make me whole.  Lord may Thy Body and Thy Blood be for my soul the highest good.  When I first met Carol, her youth was behind her.  She and Ed had already been married 50 years when I met them, and so, while many of you remember her vigor and her volunteerism, when I met her, weariness and weakness was starting to take the fore.  And even then I could see her dedication and service – the great care and effort she took in caring for Ed as he grew to need it, the love she showed to her daughters, to her grandkids.  But I also saw age and health concerns catching up to her – I saw the annoyance and frustration she had with that, as she simply couldn’t do anymore what she wanted to do – she couldn’t serve and care for others as she had.  Which is why it is fitting that Carol enjoyed this hymn.  I come oh Savior to Thy table, for weak and weary is my soul.  Thou, Bread of Life alone art able to satisfy and make me whole.  And Christ Jesus has done this for His servant Carol.

          When we hear that phrase “Bread of Life”, that isn’t just a pretty turn of phrase, a nice bit of imagery.  It is how Christ Jesus describes Himself.  “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’”  When we are talking about the Bread of Life, we are talking about Christ Jesus Himself… and not just Jesus in the abstract, not just Jesus somewhere up there, way, way far away.  No, when Jesus uses that Bread of Life language to describe Himself, that is Christ Jesus come to the earth to be the Savoir and Helper of all sinners, of all the weary, of all those who face hardship and trial in this life.  It is the Jesus who says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  And this is what Jesus has done and given His servant Carol.  From her youth, He called her out of darkness unto His marvelous light, He called and she came, and she received from Christ Jesus satisfaction.  She received forgiveness, she was filled with peace, she was given rest and confidence in hope, all of her days.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  When Christ Jesus speaks these words, He is speaking about Carol.  She is a child of God, baptized, forgiven, and Christ Jesus has not and will never cast her out.  Our Lord strengthened her and gave her endurance, and that is a wondrous thing.

          But our Lord’s love and His care for His servant Carol has not stopped.  God’s love for Carol did not end Friday morning, for Carol did not end Friday morning.  Listen again to our Lord.  “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. [39] And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”  Here, again with these words, Christ Jesus is talking about Carol.  She belongs to God, and she is not lost, Christ will not let her be.  Now, for us, from our perspective, we have suffered loss.  For a time, we don’t see Carol, we don’t get her care, her chuckling laughter and smile, we have lost that, but only for a brief time.  Christ Jesus has not lost her.  No, He has called her to His side; Carol is with Christ now, and she will be raised on the Last Day.  This is His promise.  This isn’t something incidential to the Christian faith, this isn’t something Jesus will do for Carol if He just happens to get around to it.  This is the Will of the Father.  This is the Will of God.  This is why Jesus Christ came in the first place – so that Carol would not be lost to us forever… that there is going to come a day when our Lord will raise her out of her casket, when the grave will no longer hold her, and she will live again, because that is what Jesus does.

          For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."  Again, do you see?  This is speaking to Carol.  She has seen Christ Jesus her Lord, and she has eternal life.  Death doesn’t trump that – Christ Jesus our Lord went to the Cross, went to His own death, and He rose.  So too He will raise His servant Carol, and then there will be joy that doesn’t end.  Then she will be raised, and she will no longer, she will never again be weak and weary, but she will renewed and strengthened and full of vim and vigor – we will get to see her in her prime, because this is the love that Christ Jesus has for His servant Carol.  For many years Jesus worked through her – when she cared for her family, that was Christ working through her.  When she taught and volunteered, that was Christ teaching through her.  She is Christ’s servant, and Christ Jesus will by no means forsake her.  Christ lived in and through Carol, and He will make her to live again.

          And so dear friends, it is fine to mourn.  We here in this room have suffered a loss… but only let your mourning not be as those who mourn without hope.  Carol is a child of God, she is with Him now, she is in good hands, and Christ Jesus will raise her from the dead on the Last Day.  Your time of mourning will come to an end, and you will see her again.  This is Christ’s promise to Carol, it is His promise to you, to all the Baptized. 

We thank You God for Carol/ Who sought the Bread of Life

And Fed on Him she served You/ Through any toil and strife

May we who still here labor/ Likewise be filled by You

With mercy and forgiveness/‘til we are raised anew.

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