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Sunday, August 21, 2016

08202016 Funeral Sermon for Aletha and Kendall Morris

August 20, 2016
Funeral for Aletha and Kendall Morris
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 Father, You promise that nothing shall separate us from Your love, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  I pray you would comfort the members of Aletha and Kendalls family and all who mourn their entrance into eternity.  Heavenly Father, grant that each of us gathered here today to say goodbye may ever be prepared for Your final summons when we depart and come home like Aletha and Kendall did to be with You and Your Son Jesus Christ in Your Kingdom.  May the salve of the Gospel message heard clearly today not only surround us, but enable us to be comforted by the promise found in it.  For the salvation Your Son, Jesus Christ offers all of us today overcomes all things because of the grace You offer so freely for all of mankind including all of us who gather here this morning to say goodbye.  AMEN.

The Apostle Paul wrote the following:  “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?”  If you were to ask individuals on the street, whether Denver, Kansas City, Wichita or Chicago, they would say, our culture is at war.  Some would say our culture is at war with one another, hence why tragic events like Texas, Minnesota or Louisiana.  But the Apostle Paul’s words for us today not only speak to the headlines we read, hear or see on the television station.  Paul’s words speak to us today because before us today we have gathered with two caskets holding the remains of our loved ones, Aletha and Kendall.

Paul’s biblical question is asked, not because of tragedy, but to enable each and every one of us to look at tragedy and still have hope.  The hope Paul speaks about and points to is the hope built upon a single Man he encountered on the road to Damascus.  Paul’s hope and our hope today as we gather is built upon the Man, Jesus Christ.

Paul clearly and emphatically points to and gives us the tools to answer all questions of tragedy with the words found in Romans 8:34.  Paul said, “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather was raised, Who is at the right hand of God, Who intercedes for us.”  It is Jesus Christ upon Whom we can trust, rely and truly believe that He intercedes for us even today.  For Jesus Christ sent by the Father, willingly carried His own cross to Golgatha.  Jesus Christ endured being nailed and hanging between two criminals and is the same Man Who not only offers, but showers us with comfort and grace today that enables us to not only say His Name, Jesus Christ, but believe the offer of grace and eternal life is for mankind, but especially each of us today.

For we gather here today in spite of the wars that rage around our world and specifically because of the hope found in the gift of grace offered to Aletha and Kendall and to each of us.  We gather here today because we believe in Jesus Christ and the free gift and offer of eternal life.  Jesus Christ offer from the Cross of Calvary of life and salvation is a powerful expression that enables us to firmly lay claim to Jesus Christ offer of grace for all of mankind, but especially for each and every one of us gathered here this morning.

Yet, Paul continues and asks an important question, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  In our world we encounter each of these on a daily basis, whether being looked down upon or seen as second class.  But Paul points clearly to the answer we need.  “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That is the answer we need to hang onto today.  Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd as we heard from Psalm 23 is the person we need to seek and find our solace in today.  Jesus Christ conquered sin, death and the devil and has through His life, death and resurrection set us free from sin and death.  Jesus Christ offered eternal life to Aletha and Kendall and makes this same offer to each of us today.  For when we believe and lay claim to this, we then will not be separated from the love of God that is specifically found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This same love is what Aletha and Kendall shared with countless numbers of people here in Goodland.  I personally witnessed this sharing of love by them last year.  As they came to the funeral home paying their final respects to someone they knew, I witnessed the love of God that flowed through them.  It was so powerful and so manifest that it made a lasting impression upon me.  It was a love that was not only a gift showered upon them, but they shared it from their very being with countless others in our community.

For this is the same love they channeled from their Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  For in the Gospel of John, Jesus says very clearly, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and My own know me…I lay down My life for the sheep.”  Aletha and Kendall were Jesus Christ sheep.  Jesus Christ laid down His life for them and for all of us.  Today we gather mourning their loss.  However, we gather still clinging to the sure hope found in Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ comforts us with these words for not only His disciples, but for Aletha and Kendall, but especially for each of us gathered here this morning.  Hear Jesus acclamation and promise, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand”.

May this truth comfort us as we mourn, but enable us to believe Jesus promise, but also channel Jesus love for one another.  And may this legacy that Aletha and Kendall shared with others inspire us to share it with one another of what Jesus Christ offers all of mankind of the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ especially for Aletha and Kendall’s family and all of us saints who gather here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard and comfort our hearts, minds and spirits as we are inspired to share Jesus Christ love with one another so we may never be separated from the love of God that has now enfolded Aletha and Kendall for all eternity in Jesus Christ precious and Holy arms.  AMEN

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