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Monday, April 7, 2014

04052014 Funeral Sermon for Marty Spomer

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!  Heavenly Redeemer, today we gather knowing that the veil of death has been drawn, and that as we mourn Marty’s passing, our memories are our greatest gift and blessing to sustain and comfort us as we gather here this morning.  Yet, the promises You made to Marty in his baptism and confirmation remind us of the undeniable truth we will see him again.  May we be comforted by the Gospel poured over him and that he took responsibility for in his confirmation that promised eternal life and salvation because of what Jesus Christ did on Calvary for all of mankind, but especially Marty and all of the saints of his family gathered here at Emmanuel to say goodbye.  AMEN.

One of my daughter’s favorite past-times, like most kids is to play hide and seek.  But unlike most, Sarah has one distinct problem, she doesn’t stay quiet when she is hiding.  No matter where she hides, whether behind a door, under a table or chair or even under a blanket, Sarah is either laughing, giggling or making some kind of noise that lets anyone and everyone know exactly where she is hiding.

Recently, Marty played a similar game with his grandkids and in true fashion, not only cemented one more memory for and with Autumn and Alexis, but pulled back the veil of his love for his grandkids and revealed truly not only his joy of being a grandfather, but also his love to ‘scare’ his betrothed Avonelle.  I was told there was many a time, Marty would sneak up behind Avonelle and not say a word, not even breathe and just wait for the right moment when she would turn around.  And like most, Avonelle would jump, because of not expecting him to be right there.  That playfulness revealed not only a love for his wife, but also Marty’s playfulness, but also the knowledge that was imparted to him in his baptism and confirmation.

Just as in the “Wizard of Oz” the wizard was found to be behind the curtain, this morning, Marty is behind the veil of the pall that covers the casket.  The pall is for us a reminder and remembrance of Marty being made a child of God in his baptism.  When the water and the Word were poured over him God made him His own and forever changed the trajectory of Marty’s life.  Not only would he be known as a wheat farmer here in Northwest Kansas, nor just a sheep herder, even being thrown from the corral by an ornery animal, Marty in his baptism would be forever changed into a child of God.

Yet the change wasn’t only from sinner to saint, it also included his change of the knowledge imparted from God to him.  Marty’s Confirmation verse came from Proverbs and we heard it read earlier, surrounded by the wisdom of God.  Let me read his confirmation verse again, because in this verse the veil that covers Marty today was planted like a seed on his confirmation day.  “26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

In Marty’s confirmation where he took responsibility for his faith and life, God opened his heart and revealed the love He had for him that was manifest in his parents bringing him for Holy Baptism.  Through the Water and Word, God showered upon him grace and every blessing and entered into Marty’s heart and revealed the great love God had for him.  A love that was so profound that God gave His own Son in order to die on the Cross of Calvary to set all of mankind free.  And by our covering the casket with the pall this morning we remember this and more clearly celebrate the gifts given by God to Marty and to each and everyone of us.

But this veil is not just a covering, it also is a reminder of the blessings imparted during Marty’s life here on earth.  Whether it was finding, marrying and being a Father to a wonderful family with his betrothed Avonelle, by his being involved in building the church that we gather in, the educational wing that still to this day is used to educate our children and his grandchildren.  Marty’s confirmation verse, consistently provides the ability for us to understand Marty observed God’s ways by worshiping God on a weekly basis, but this only occurred because Jesus Christ called and made Marty His own in his baptism into Jesus life, death and resurrection.  And today the harvest is complete.

As a driver of a combine and even a grain cart, Marty knew that one had to be careful during the harvest, even trying to insure his own daughter Darla’s safety, but failing, not because of lack of trying, but because in our fallen humanity we will fail.  But today, I stand here and proclaim this truth, God never fails.  And today the veil of death is so close to each of us, it covers us with sadness, but God has overcome death by and through His Son, Jesus Christ.  And we just as Marty’s confirmation verse says, ‘observe God’s ways’.  And God’s ways are perfect.  The perfection is the promise we find in the Cross of Christ that Marty has been baptized into and we cover his casket with in the remembrance by the pall.

Yet, we also hear and can share in the promise made through Jesus Christ and what we share together from the Altar of the Lord.  In a few minutes we will share with one another the greatest blessing of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.  This gift we share not only with one another here today, but also with all the saints of all time and place of which Marty is now numbered among.  As we partake of the gift of grace and forgiveness, it is not only connected with the remembrance of Marty’s life here on earth, but also the promise made by Jesus Christ in His baptism.  Today we celebrate not his death, but the harvest and the promise and fulfillment of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday and that promise made to Marty with his baptism into Jesus Christ, life, death and especially his resurrection.

For when we lay claim to the resurrection of Christ, we though separated by the veil of death are not separated from God, but covered by the pall as a simple reminder of our baptism and the promises made for all of mankind, including now Marty and one day each of us.  May this truth of the Gospel be a salve and comfort us as we mourn, but assure us of the fulfillment of the harvest for our beloved wheat farmer Marty.  And may the Holy Spirit reveal this truth and surround us with the truth we know, trust and believe in of the Gospel of salvation that we have heard and will shortly receive through the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  For now Marty rests under the pall in His Saviors arms in fulfillment of the promises of God made to and for all mankind, but this morning especially for Marty and all the saints of his family 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 Marty and each one of us!  AMEN! 

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