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Sunday, February 28, 2016

02272016 Daniel Jacob Dorn Sr Funeral

Let us pray!  Gracious Heavenly Father, this afternoon we gather to mourn, but also celebrate Your gathering into Your Holy Arms Your redeemed child Daniel Jacob Dorn, Sr..  As we gather, we ask You to comfort us and give us a special measure of Your Holy Spirit in order that Your Gospel message he heard and believed may be the salve for our hearts.  For Your Gospel of salvation offered him in the font of Holy Baptism is the same faith he used to pray the prayer that Your Son taught us.  Enable us to lay claim to the promises offered, and remember how You offered him forgiveness, life and salvation, not by his merit, but because of Your love shown through Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

The passages we have heard today from Holy Scripture not only make promises to us, but remind us that with Solomon, David, Jude and Mark, God not only inspired them, but used them and their words to minister unto the needs of the people of God for centuries.  These passages speak of time, a shepherd, a promise of mercy and not knowing the day nor the hour of Jesus return, but their message is rooted in the bed rock of a faith that not only points to Jesus Christ, but clearly and emphatically finds its roots in the offer of grace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  So clear and profound is this connection it hits pay dirt not in dirt but in water.

We know here on the high plains, whether in Colorado where Dan first lived as a married man with his betrothed Laura or in Western Kansas, without the water we pump from the ground we would not have a crop or feed our cattle.  But water in and of itself can give life to plants.  Yet when water is connected to God’s Word in Holy Baptism, the promise of eternity and eternal life is made.  And this is the promise that we lay claim to today.  A promise of mercy, a promise of eternal life, a promise that is laid claim to in a prayer taught to Jesus disciples that I prayed with Dan every time I would visit Dan at Good Samaritan.

Yes it is the Lord’s Prayer.  That simple prayer that Jesus taught His disciples speaks volumes to us today of the faith of Dan.  But it wasn’t that Dan was perfect, because we know different.  He felt trapped with his condition.  Dan wasn’t able to do what he thought he should be able to for many years.  He could be heard down the hall at Good Sam with his booming voice, his television blaring or what was just a man trapped by circumstance and inability to move or do what he wanted.  But the resolve he felt that was clear was he was here for his kids to take care of them.  Daily he would go visit Danny and sit with him.  Sometimes talking, sometimes watching television, but ever vigilant of being there.  A ministry of presence that spoke volumes.  This same presence he beamed of as he proudly showed the pictures in his room of the apple of his eye, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Yet, no matter what happened, through it all, including the loss of his wife and daughter one thing remained true.  Dan believed in the power of God and that God loved him unconditionally and this is why he wanted to pray with me the Lord’s Prayer with every visit.  The Lord’s Prayer was a salve and a personal confession of his heart.

For the Lord’s Prayer that I would pray with every visit with Dan, is a prayer of love, trust and seeking for God’s Will to be done.  It is a prayer of thanks and praise for God’s gifts.  It is a prayer asking for those who pray it to be forgiven and to forgive others.  For us to not be led into temptation, but to be delivered from evil.  And today Dan is being delivered from the physical bondage that has held him for so many years.  Today God in fulfillment of God’s promise in Holy Baptism sets free Dan and fulfills the promise of eternal life made to him in his Holy Baptism.  It is this promise that we hold onto, lay claim to and believe with a faith given to us by our Lord and Savior in simple water connected with God’s Word.

You see the Lord’s Prayer looked to the fulfillment that we find today as we gather.  Yes, we gather with our hearts broken with loss.  But today we gather, some would believe in a valley with the shadow of death looming over us.  But we are not in a shadow, because death no longer has dominion.  Death has been overcome.  Death was overcome by Dan’s Savior, His Lord, His God, none other than Jesus Christ.

You see the same Man Who taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer is the same Lord Who in, with, through and by the Water of Holy Baptism washed Dan clean and spotless in the font.  Jesus Christ promised Dan on that faithful day he would be with Him in paradise and today that day has come.  Our grief that the devil wants us to hold onto should be joy, for the devil has not won.  The victory is God’s because on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ bled and died in order that Dan would be set free and have eternal life.  Jesus Christ offered Himself, took on the sins of the entire world including Dan and each and every one of us and fulfills in our hearing and sight God’s promise of grace and mercy for Dan today.

Oswald Chambers once said, “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the one who is leading”.  Today we celebrate Dan’s being led home and his entrance into eternity where he was led by none other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  For the Great Shepherd visits us today not only to lead Dan home, but welcome him into His Kingdom.  The Great Shepherd comes to pray with us as He taught us in the Lord’s Prayer, but also enable us to lay claim to the grace and mercy we find in the Water and Word of God that promised Dan eternal life.  Today, we gather to join together as a family of God and partake of Jesus gift of His precious Body and Blood, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sin, life and salvation.  Today we bridge the gap with eternity through Holy Communion with Dan, Laura and Diana and all the Saints who have gone before us.  Today we lay claim to the promises of God not only in the Lord’s Prayer, but especially in the gift of God’s grace and mercy offered to Dan with his baptism into Jesus Christ life, death, but especially His resurrection on the third day.

May this promise of grace and every blessing not only enable us to embrace God’s gift of Grace and mercy, but may we know that today Dan has been reunited with his wife Laura, daughter Diana and entered into eternity to be with His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  For this reunion is a celebration, a fulfillment of what Dan was certainly waiting for, but a clear reminder that when we prayed the Lord’s Prayer the ending was the exclamation point.  “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.”  And Jesus makes this true for Dan today and one day for each of us.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard, protect and comfort our hearts, minds and spirits as we celebrate Dan’s entrance into eternity because of the love of God through His Son, and Dan’s and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

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