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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

05012013 Funeral Sermon for Beulah Fern Hawks McClung

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!  Gracious Heavenly Father, we come together today mourning the loss of Beulah with her entrance into the Church Triumphant.  Just as she celebrated Your entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday may we remember that death no longer has dominion over us.  For through her baptism into Your life, death and resurrection You have set her free from death and now she rests in Your loving and caring arms.  Though the veil of death separates us today from Beulah, may we be comforted by Your Gospel and hear clearly the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of salvation offered by Jesus Christ for all the saints of Beulah’s family as well as all the saints gathered here at Emmanuel to say goodbye.  AMEN.

If one could ever define impossible odds it would most likely be a 7-10 split.  For some the 7-10 split in bowling is one of the toughest in the game to beat, but with the right speed, spin, efficiency and practice one can master this nearly impossible completion of a spare.  This morning we come to mourn a woman who not only learned how to beat the hardest split in the game, but has now beat an even more cunning opponent than two pins on opposite sides of the lane.  The opponent we celebrate victory over today is Satan and the finality of death that has taken Beulah from our presence here on earth.

When we hear the 23rd Psalm in the well known King James Version we have heard clearly the story of the Shepherd and the promises made to Beulah on the day of her baptism and to us today.  God made to Beulah in her baptism and makes a promise to us today that He is our shepherd and we are His people and as our shepherd God will continue to lead us, prepare for us and anoint us with oil.

Throughout Beulah’s life she was not a follower, but a leader in the community and emulated this aspect of the shepherd as leader.  Whether it was working with the Hospital Auxillary, at Wal-Mart as a greeter, in the Bowling League and at nationals with the prestige of being the oldest bowler, Beulah emulated what a leader was meant to be and do.  She learned that leadership was purposeful and Jesus Christ was the greatest model for her.  Since she was baptized in the Waters of Holy Baptism and signed, sealed and delivered by the Blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, God had instilled in her the desire to be a doer and leader not only in the community but also and especially in the home.

Beulah’s greatest legacy hasn’t been the activities she was a part of in the community but the clear preparation she made in and with her children.  Not only bringing them for Holy Baptism, but also instilling in them a clear understanding of the difference between right and wrong, nursing them when they were sick and needed her most, but also Beulah taught them how to respect one another and instilled in them the good work ethics of independence and self-confidence. But it didn’t stop with what people saw, but continued with what was a family thing the importance of family and playing cards together or camping.

Just as a good farmer prepares the soil, God instilled in Beulah the clear idea of preparation not only of the importance of family, but also preparation of her soul.  While Beulah was in both Wheat Ridge and Good Samaritan she would attend worship, hear and read in her room the Word of God and come and receive the precious Body and Blood of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Just as David alluded in the preparation of the table in Psalm 23, Beulah came to God’s table being prepared for the feast she now will enjoy for all eternity in her Father’s Kingdom.

And as she is now in the presence of her Lord and Savior, God anoints her head with oil.  This imagery not only is relevant for King David who was anointed with oil as the King of Israel, but also of Jesus Christ and how as the King was anointed before His burial with oil.  We to in, through and by our baptism have been anointed with the oil of gladness of the promises of our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and especially His resurrection.  These are the promises that we lay claim to today and hold onto with sure and certain faith and hope in what Jesus Christ did for Beulah and all of us on the Cross of Calvary.

One of the clearest memories I have of Beulah is the celebration she was a part of that was included in our latest congregational directory.  While living at Wheat Ridge the residents would gather for fellowship and the Lord’s Supper on a monthly basis in one of the residents rooms.  In our directory we included a picture of all of the residents including Beulah holding up Palm Branches as they celebrated Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  This image of triumph better than making the 7-10 split is what God wants us to remember this morning.  God through His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ has overcome sin, death, the devil, hell and damnation for all of mankind, but especially for Beulah and this is the promise that God has made to and for her and we are reminded of with the last verse from the 23rd Psalm.  David sums up for us today what the promise is for Beulah this morning that she “will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”  God has made this promise and now fulfills it in our hearing.  For nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Jesus Christ Who offers us the gift of salvation for all of mankind, but especially for all of the saints of Beulah’s family and friends gathered 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 Beulah ands each one of us!  AMEN!
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