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Sunday, March 16, 2014

03152014 Funeral Sermon for Kay Hull

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 Jesus Christ, with Your Holy Hands You shaped the earth and formed man and woman in Your image.  Today we come before You with our hearts heavy from the loss of Kay.  Yet, You remind us in Your Holy Word that not only was she made, formed and shaped in Your image in the womb, but You have made her new with her baptism into Your life, death and resurrection.  For this gift of grace showered upon her through the Waters of Holy Baptism reflect not only the love You had for her, but the promise that comforts us now as we are here to say goodbye.  Though the veil of death separates us today, Your promises to her are fulfilled with her entrance into Your Holy Kingdom where she now rests in Your loving arms.  May the Gospel message promised in her baptism and now fulfilled in our hearing comfort us as we mourn, for Your Word promises us the Holy Spirit to comfort and remind us of Your eternal presence and the promise of eternal life for all mankind, but especially all the saints of Kay’s family gathered here at Emmanuel to say goodbye.  AMEN.

When an artist paints or draws the intent of the artist is to share an experience or a moment in time that they themselves personally experienced and want to share with others.  The artist begins with a vision in mind of what the final outcome will be, whether a scene of a picturesque mountain, a stream of water and the tranquility felt while relaxing beside the flowing brook or even the plains of Kansas and the wheat ready for harvest blowing in the wind.  Clearly the artist vision of the experience has more than meets the eye from the painting or drawing, but until one meets the artist or hears the story behind the artwork, it continues to be a mystery for those viewing the creation.

In a clear and profound way, we who gather here this morning are very similar to individuals who view artwork, but in our case our view is not of art, but of our experience with Kay.  All of us when we first met Kay had clear ideas from our first encounter with Kay and what she was like.  Mine was out here in front of the church and parsonage after first arriving.  It revolved around Kay’s car and the damage that had been done to the front fender and door of her car.  For me just having arrived here in Western Kansas at my first call it was something that was not a mountain top experience, but for Kay it was a very profound event for Kay and something that she needed to share with somebody.  Not only did Kay need to share it, Kay needed someone to help her carry the load or burden of that experience and how to deal with it.  And since I was her new pastor, Kay wanted me to be the one to help her carry her load.  But I wasn’t the right person, there was someone else that she knew that was made for this and I only needed to remind her Who that was that could and would help Kay carry her burden.

If there is anyone that could sympathize with Kay about what occurred in her life, it was a master artist, creator and someone that was already a friend to Kay.  That person was Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ the great artist had formed Kay in her mother’s womb and knew her from the time of her conception.  When Kay was baptized in the waters of Baptism, Kay was forever changed and God claimed Kay as His own in her baptism into His life, death and resurrection.  From that moment, Kay’s life was never the same, it was forever changed.  It did not change who she was, it did not change what Kay did or how she acted, but the Waters of Baptism changed Whose Kay was and where Kay would spend eternity.

Through the Waters of Baptism, Kay was washed with the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  With Water connected with Word, Kay was made a child of God and redeemed.  No longer was she just a young woman, she would marry Duane, adopt a step son and have two beautiful daughters, Denise and Rachel and enjoy the joys of being a grandmother, who would share what she had been given through the Water and Word of baptism, the gift of faith.  It was so important that Kay made sure her daughters came to confirmation and grandson Danny came to Vacation Bible School put on by Sky Ranch and learned about Jesus Christ.  And Kay’s faith was unmistakable in her personal desire to learn more about her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Most of us sitting here in the pew are unaware that Kay not only visited other churches, she also met with the Ruth Circle, Marilyn Eklund’s small group and other Bible Study groups to learn more about her faith and use the muscle of faith given to her in her baptism.  From the time she was baptized over at the First Christian Church Kay wanted to learn more about her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and this is the aspect that was hidden from most of our view, but it was clearly visible to God her Father in heaven in Whose arms she now rests.

Not only did Kay want to learn more about her Father in heaven, she came to God’s table and received the eternal food in the Lord’s Supper that would strengthen her on this pilgrimage and provide her eternal life.  When Kay would come and receive the Lord’s Supper of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood, she would receive the fruits of creation that God clearly offers with the words, “Given and Shed for you for the forgiveness of sins”.  We all know the painting of the Last Supper painted by Leonardo Da Vince, where Jesus Christ instituted the Last Supper.  In this painting, Jesus disciples gathered around a table thinking they were only sharing in the yearly feast of the Passover.  Unbeknownst to them, they were sharing in the most intimate last meal with Jesus Christ before His death.  In that moment, Jesus turned the feast on its head and Da Vince captures for us today a beautiful portrait and reminder for us of what Jesus Christ was offering then and still for each of us today. 

Today Kay in a very real way is sharing with Jesus Christ in heaven the greatest feast of food, all because of her baptism into Jesus Christ, life, death and resurrection and her receipt of His precious Body and Blood around the altar of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This is the life lesson that God fulfills to Kay today and that we celebrate here as we say goodbye.  For even in my own life, Kay taught me a very important and profound lesson that still sticks with me today.  That day when I first met Kay outside of the parsonage, Kay taught me a very insightful lesson in pastoral ministry that has impacted me and continues to affect me and I am thankful for today as we say goodbye.

As a Pastor, when I hear the troubles of an individual, I personally might not view the individuals’ problem as a mountain to overcome or the trouble they see it as, but in the eyes of the individual experiencing it this is something that is deeply affecting them.  But God in their sharing this event is inviting me to learn from them and walk with them through the valley.  And Kay’s experience was no different, because on that day she taught me and provided me the opportunity to grow in my ministry and how I would walk with the souls entrusted to my pastoral care.  Kay helped me to grow closer to God and become a better pastor, for she was a child of God, redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ and now rests comfortably in her Lord and Savior’s arms.  No longer with the pain of rejection of this world, nor of the cancer she valiantly fought against, but now Kay is hand in hand with her betrothed Duane in the eternal presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

May we who still mourn and are still on our journey, take comfort in the truth of our salvation found in Jesus Christ.  And may the salve of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He did on Calvary for all of mankind, but especially Kay, help us to see each other in and through God’s eyes as the redeemed children of God and welcome one another as God has welcomed Kay into His kingdom where we will be welcomed as His children.  For this is the offer for all of mankind from God, but especially all the saints of Kay’s family and friends 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 Edna and each one of us!  AMEN!

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