Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sermon for Tim Marcotte

Funeral for Timothy Marcotte, December 19th, 2015

In the Name of Christ Jesus our Advent King, Amen
Kris, Sarah and Jacob, Andrew and Sara, Matthew, friends and family of our brother in Christ Jesus Tim, Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Well, this isn't a day any of us were expecting. At least not yet. Maybe this day would have come 30, 40 years down the road. At least that's the way we think it is supposed to work. As a culture we've told ourselves that death is just a natural part of life – but today feels wrong. And it should, not because Tim was too young, but because the truth of it is that death, all death, is wrong. Even if today were decades down the road, it would still be wrong then. We were not created by God to die – And God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. God's own breath, a living creature. That's what we were created to be. And then the fall, then sin enters the world, then death, and then we are stuck with lousy mornings like today that are just flat out wrong, that just aren't the way things should be.

God knows this. God, the Creator of the world, indeed, Tim's Creator knows far better than we do just how wrong today is. Which is why He has done something about it. Which is why the Father sent Christ Jesus into this world, had Him be born of a virgin. Which is why there's a Christmas. We don't have Christmas to boost the economy or have a reason to go Target – we have Christmas because Jesus saw this day, even from eternity, and He would not let this day stand, not let this day be the end. And so Jesus became Man, was born of a virgin mother, and lived perfectly, lived without sin – and yet, Jesus Himself faced down death. And He did so for His Tim. Hear again what our Lord says of Tim in John 10 - “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Tim heard the voice of His shepherd, loved to hear it, heard the Word preached all the time, and Christ Jesus most certainly knows His Tim... and Tim follows Jesus. Christ Jesus our Lord came down into this world, came into a life like ours precisely so that Tim, so that we here, would follow Him. And Jesus Christ, for Tim's sake, went to the Cross and died Himself, and then He rose. And while this day is wrong, Christ is setting it right. Tim's death is now Tim following Christ into death, and Tim has followed Christ to heaven, and Tim shall follow Christ to everlasting life, to the resurrection of the body, to the life of the world to come. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” Do you hear how defiant Christ Jesus is, how He looks at the wrongness of this day, all days like this, and He shouts death down. No, death, you don't get to keep Tim, you don't get to keep any of My sheep, you don't get the final world. I give Tim eternal life, and Tim will not perish, rather he will live.

This day is hard – it would be foolish to try to pretend otherwise. But over and against this day stands the even greater truth that Christ Jesus is Tim's Lord and Savior, who claimed Tim in the waters of Holy Baptism, who daily and richly forgave all Tim's sin, who gave Tim His own Body and Blood for the remission of all of Tim's sins – and as such, Tim is with His Lord, the sheep has followed the Shepherd, even having walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and he did it without fear, for Christ Tim's Good Shepherd was with him, and even now Tim dwells with Christ Jesus, and when Jesus comes again, Tim will be coming with Jesus. That's the truth. Doesn't mean we don't have sorrow, that we don't see the wrongness of this day – but it means that we also see beyond it.

Which is why St. Paul writes to us, “Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I will say rejoice.” Because even on days like this, the Lord reigns. Because even as we face our own sorrows, we know that Tim beholds the joys of heaven and waits the resurrection. This is the very peace of God that surpasses all human understanding – it is too big and wondrous for us to wrap our minds around, though we confess it, we sing it. Therefore with angels and archangels, with Tim and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious name, ever more praising, that is rejoicing in the Lord always... and the peace of the Lord be with you always. The wonders of Christ's love for Tim, for us – we know it – but Tim knows it now, knows it better than us. We see in the mirror dimly, Tim sees face to face.

And so my friends in Christ – we are free to mourn this day – today is not how we'd want it to be. But Christ Jesus will and does make things right – and Tim is well taken care off, far better off right now than any of us. But you too belong to Christ, and you, like Tim, have been forgiven, and when Christ and Tim come back, we will all be raised together, and that's going to be something. As we so often say in Advent, come quickly, Lord Jesus. In the Name of Christ Jesus, our Advent King +

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