Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Funeral For Alice Kruse

Funeral for Alice Kruse

In the Name of Christ Jesus our Advent King +
Janet, Ruth, Ron, Ken, Jerry, Wayne, Karl, Randy, and Lori, grandkids and greatgrandkids, friends and family of our sister in Christ Alice, grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. It is easy to tell that Alice, in her heyday, must have been a strong, wise, and powerful woman. To raise nine kids, especially some as feisty and precocious as these folks, I can't imagine the strength and willpower that she must have had. But we've spent the last few years, the last few months seeing that strength ebb away. Thus is the way of things in this fallen world. But we are not gathered here today in the ways of the world, we are gathered here today in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord, who Himself declared that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And we are rightly gathered together in the Name of Christ Jesus, because Alice is a baptized child of God, forgiven and redeemed, and now is with her Lord. Coming so lately into Alice's life, I may not have seen her at her 9-kid wrangling best... but I saw her, even in the midst of her frailty look to her Lord and Savior for mercy, for love, for care, for support. Of course she did – that shouldn't surprise us – especially those of you who received decades of love and care from her. That love that she showed to you was the same love that she had received from Christ Jesus, reflected from Alice on to you. Because in reality, it never was about Alice's strength or power, but about Christ's power for Alice and in Alice.

I'm guessing it was Pastor Sauer who picked out Alice's confirmation verse, and he picked a good one for her, one that fit her well. We just heard it a few moments ago – For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. This is what we saw played out in Alice's life, where even when she showed such love fantastic, she didn't put her trust in her own strength or works. Alice looked not to her own strength, not to her own power, but looked to Christ Jesus to be her Savior, to bring her salvation. She laid her sins on Jesus, for in spite of all that she accomplished, the love that she showed, Alice was well aware of her own sinfulness, and thus she knew her need for Christ Jesus. She relied upon Christ Jesus and His power, and indeed, Christ her Lord was powerful for her. Her crucified and risen Savior richly and daily forgave her all her sins. He guided her, He supported her, and indeed, He showed powerful love to you through her. And that is a wondrous thing.

But as we are gathered here today, we must not think of Alice and the love of Christ for her as merely a thing of the past. While she may have died, she is not gone. And I do not mean this in a “she lives on in our hearts” sort of way. No, that's not where she lives right now. Hear again the words of our Lord. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” Christ's power, the power of the Gospel, is no mere temporary thing. It is eternal, and with this almighty and eternal love that Christ Jesus has for Alice, He has called her to His own side in heaven, where there she dwells with Him, this instant, with the Lord. Where He is, there Alice is – because that's what the Gospel, the power of God for salvation accomplishes, and specifically what it has brought about for Alice. And there with her Lord, she awaits the Last Day, the resurrection of the body. And when Christ comes again, Alice will come with Him. She will rise again, because the power of God for salvation is by no means a weak or slight thing. Death has nothing on Christ, and as such death has nothing on Alice. And all because of the goodness, the greatness of Christ Jesus and His love for Alice, indeed, His love for you.

And so my dear friends in Christ, while this is a sad day, even if we all knew it was coming, we remember that Christ Jesus still remains the Way, the Truth, and the Life, even today. He remains the way in which Alice received forgiveness, the way by which she was taken to the Lord's side in heaven. Thus, even in the midst of our sorrows, we took to that day when she and all of us will rise again to life, true life in Christ, life with death done away with and gone. For in truth, Christ Jesus has won Alice salvation; He has won you salvation, and as assurdedly as He once came in humility, born in a stable in Bethlehem, He shall come again in great power to see that we are reunited with Alice. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. In the Name of Christ Jesus, our Advent King +

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