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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sermon 02112013 Funeral Sermon Margaret Margie Schmidt Richards

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Good and gracious Heavenly Father, as we gather here to celebrate the 99 years of our sister in Christ, Margie, we who remain on our earthly pilgrimage are reminded that Margie not only added to the beauty of our world, but has found the perfect peace of Jesus Christ.  In, through and by her baptism into Your life, death and resurrection, Margie now rests in Your loving and comforting arms.  May You through Your Gospel enable our hearts to hear Your Word spoken in its truth and purity and comfort us as we mourn.  The veil of death separates us today, but Your promise in our baptism that in being baptized into Your death we are certainly raised with You in Your resurrection.  Comfort us with this promise and let the salve of Your Gospel message surround us so we may hear clearly the Gospel message of the salvation offered through Jesus Christ innocent death on Calvary for all Your saints, especially the saints of Margies family gathered here at Emmanuel to say goodbye.  AMEN.

There are some things in life that need precision, accuracy and a steady hand.  These include making free throws in basketball, playing cards, whether Pinnocle, Hand and Foot or Canasta, in essence, knowing when to hold’em and knowing when to fold’em, and painting china, just as Margie was gifted by God to do, but also shooting a gun.  Some of you may not know, Margie, not only was a gifted card player, but also an artisan using her hands to cast pottery, help with 4-H art projects or make the most intricate nativity sets, Margie was also well adapted at handling a gun.  Sitting around the table as we prepared for this morning the story was told of how Margie with grace, precision and accuracy shot a .22 Rifle. 

Now it wasn’t the typical shot, to drop a fat squirrel for a meal, a running rabbit or a rodent out in the yard.  Margie clearly and precisely hit a whip antenna.  Now for those of you who may not know or remember, in the olden days, before satellites delivered the Sirrus radio, or we had iPods and computers were in our cars, watches, phones or homes, automobiles had large antennas to receive the AM radio stations which required the antenna to stretch over the car.  As a gentile and prim and proper lady that Margie was she was shooting a .22 rifle and whether by luck, skill or pure accident severed one of these antennas that stretched across the back of the car with a single shot from the rifle.  Needless to say it probably scarred not only Margie, but also those who were with her when she took the faithful shot.

From our Gospel this morning, we hear from the Apostle John another proverbial perfect shot, just like Margie that clearly encapsulates in one verse the entire Gospel message of Jesus Christ in its simplest terms.  John by inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  This short simple passage tells not only of the love, the forgiveness and the lengths to which God would go to save mankind.  This promise of God the Father and His gift of His Son offers the gift of eternal life for all of mankind.  It is the single most important passage that we Christians rely upon because of its perfect aim, accuracy and grace offered for all of mankind.

Yet, it is not only offered in Jesus own words, it is emulated to and for all of mankind by Jesus Christ in the way He lived and walked here on earth.  And Margie received this gift of grace when she was baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And in her life Margie through and by God’s grace emulated the gift of forgiveness and grace for everyone she encountered, whether as a ‘Pink Lady’ at the hospital, helping her husband treat patients in need of a good chiropractor, ministering with the women of the church in the Dorcas group or bible school in arts and crafts, working hours on 4-H projects, cooking sumptuous meals from a pantry that contained the barest essentials to painting china in her studio for gifts to people in the community.  Margie understood and lived 99 years of a grace filled life surrounded by family, playing cards with her friends on Friday night or by modeling for all of us how Jesus Christ impacted her life..

On one of my last visits to see Margie while at Good Samaritan, she was sitting in the common area in front of the nurses station.  Sitting in her usual prim and proper way, we began with polite conversation, but after sharing scripture, a prayer and the Lord’s Prayer it became clear that Margie knew her time was short on this earth.  But what was so palpable was not regret, but the sheer joy and peace she had.  It was not a peace that was of struggle, but the pure peace that only comes from God and is a gift from heaven.  Margie knew that it would not be long until she was with her twin sister in heaven.  The peace that was apparent was just like her perfect shot and Jesus words of promise found in John 3:16.

For the love of God was clearly manifest and Margie had no regrets.  She was ready to enter into the church triumphant and be welcomed not only by her sister, but by the mother she knew only for a few short days after birth.  Margie knew that God’s promise of grace, love and sacrifice by Jesus Christ was for all of mankind including her.  Jesus death on Calvary was the greatest gift she ever received and we today can take comfort, solace and peace knowing that Margie now rests in her Lord and Saviors arms basking in the beauty of God’s creation where she can enjoy her family, whether playing cards, catching up on the latest society news or scrapbooking about her travel to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior.  We today celebrate Margies entrance into the church triumphant and the promise of eternal life made for all of mankind, but especially for Margie and all of the saints of her family and all of us who gather here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding guard our hearts and minds and comfort us today, because of what Jesus Christ did for Margie and each one of us!  AMEN! 
//trial script