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Sunday, March 2, 2014

03012014 Funeral Sermon Ronald Paul Roeder

Sermon Audio

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 Lord, as we gather here to remember Ron, we are reminded that he has been washed by the Blood of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.  Remind us that Ron asked to receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism and enters into Your kingdom as an heir of eternal life because of You and the grace and forgiveness You freely offered to him.  No longer will the pains of memory of this life bind him, for it is in, through and by his baptism into Your life, death and resurrection that Ron now rests in Your loving arms.  May Your Gospel message of salvation remind us that though the veil of death separates us today from Ron, it cannot separate us from the love You have for us that is manifest in the Gospel of salvation offered for all of mankind, including all of us gathered here.  May we be comforted by this thought and truth and allow the salve of Your Gospel message to embrace us in Your loving arms offered by Your Son Jesus Christ innocent death on Calvary for all of Your saints, especially including all of the saints of Ron’s family gathered here at Emmanuel to say goodbye.  AMEN.

When one reaches the gates of an indoctrination station, once you step one foot in the door, your life is forever changed.  No longer do you have the freedoms found as a civilian, your life is now at the mercy of the drill sergeants and their main job to transform men and women into soldiers.  This was especially true for Ron as he began his journey from being a ‘wet behind the ears’ farm boy from Northwest Kansas to his transformation into a soldier in the United States Army preparing for battles that would eventually come in both Korea and eventually Vietnam.  The task of the drill sergeants was clear, make soldiers.

For Ron the transformation became clear and he lived the life of a soldier for his entire 20 year career.  From one War to another, he served his country with distinction and honor, but his transformation into a soldier also affected his care of and for those under his command.  There were many times that Ron instead of sending a ‘wet behind the ears’ new recruit on a mission to deliver supplies, would sacrifice himself in order to insure that the new recruit would not be sent home in a body bag at such a young age.  And this sacrifice not only provided many stories, but events that could have caused his own life to be cut short.  But this sacrifice was something Ron believed in and was a clear and tangible change for him that very few people knew about.

But though he would sacrifice himself for others, it did not change the person who he really was.  Some saw Ron and the decisions he made in his life with clear question, even pity and sometimes even derision.  He like a lot of people enjoyed the vices in life, and some questioned not only his action, but also his faith.  But God was at work.  Behind the scenes and outside of the view of lots of people, including his family, God was changing Ron’s heart, by baby steps, but still making Ron a new creation.  Ron had heard the stories from his birth by his mother of what Jesus Christ did on Calvary, but never did Ron become baptized.  But God was working, from his youth, to boot camp, through Korea and Vietnam and even later in his life for a change that would have dramatic impact.

This change was made in His life on Feb. 2, 2014, when God made Ron his own in His baptism.  By Ron’s own request for baptism, God came down and forever changed Ron in a way that made him different for all eternity.  Ron trusted completely in the grace offered by Jesus Christ.  God through the Water connected with the Word made Ron an heir of eternal life and prepared him for entrance into the Kingdom of God.

This was a fulfillment of the promise that was made on Calvary 2000 years ago and made manifest in Ron’s life here in Goodland, KS less than a month ago.  It does not nor did it change Ron’s life nor call right what he had done in his life previously, but through the water of baptism, God forgave him his sins and washed away His sin.  Through the blood of the lamb of God, Jesus Christ washed away the sin in Ron’s life and welcomed him as a child of God.  This is what we come here today to celebrate.  We come to celebrate what God did for Ron and offers for each of us today.

We are offered the gift of eternal life through our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection.  We are offered the free gift of grace that does not change our sin, but washes it away.  God offers each of us the opportunity to trust in Him and the promise of salvation given to us through the gift of grace offered by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.  This is the free gift which God offered to Ron and today in our remembering Ron’s life understand that God has made him a changed man, a new creation and especially a child of God.

This message of eternal life and salvation that Jesus Christ promised to Ron is a clear reminder for each and everyone of us as we gather here this morning and remember, not only the changed soldier who cared for those under his command, but more importantly the message of salvation found in Jesus Christ that changed Ron on the day of his baptism.  This is the offer God makes to and for all of mankind, but especially for all of the saints of Ron’s family that 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 Ron and each one of us!  AMEN!
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