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Thursday, February 16, 2017

02162017 Funeral Sermon for Loren L. Bahe

February 16, 2017
Funeral for Loren L. Bahe

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, as we gather today seeing that the veil of death has been drawn, we mourn Loren’s passing, but know and have heard the promise You made to him of eternal life.  Not only did you model for him care and concern, but you instilled in him and he and Tam passed down to Mike and Kim lessons of love that have not only formed and shaped who they are not only as his children, but Yours through the most intimate connection.  That connection comes through Loren’s and our baptism into Your Son Jesus Christ, life, death, but especially His resurrection.  And though, because of death it seems the connection is broken, because of our faith in You, we believe it is not and we can be comforted by that knowledge today and every day.  May we who gather to say goodbye be comforted through the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ and through its healing salve, which is the most powerful medicine, may we be enabled to understand Your love for us, but especially for Loren as now he and his betrothed Tam are back together again being held in Your loving arms for all eternity.  AMEN.

As we prepared for today, to remember and celebrate Loren’s life, there were for everyone, from Mike, Kim, Deneyce, Jason and others so many not only good memories, but great memories.  From Loren’s always having the best looking shoes, because he not only was an expert in footwear, because he owned three shoe stores in two states.  Loren had a passion for kids, not only caring for his own kids, but countless others here in town when he ran the ‘Teen Club’.  To the clear connection that Loren had with his wife Tam.  Never a harsh word was spoken or disagreement except behind closed doors.  They were always together sharing the highs and lows of not only rural farm life, but also raising Mike and Kim and in the most intimate way sharing, caring and showing his love and understanding but especially instilling a work ethic that was clear and today is rare in our society.

One catch phrase that epitomized Loren’s ethic was simply stated, but revealed the bedrock of his character instilled both by his parents William and Nannie, but also his time in the United States Army.  It was said, you “gotta work before we play”.  At times the work whether at the lake or on the farm overcame the play, but the memories created, the character formed in Mike and Kim and what they have passed down can be clearly and directly linked to Loren and Tam and their insuring that their family came first and their children would never want for anything.

As we sat around the table yesterday, we were looking at some of the pictures that you can see this morning on the screens on the sun deck and the narthex on the west.  One clear connection that leapt out at me is that Loren was confirmed, married and now will be buried from here in this very sanctuary.  The thread that runs throughout Loren’s life is the importance of church, but especially God in his life.  And this clear connection comes from the Gospel we heard only moments ago.

Jesus said very clearly that “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life…”  Loren believed in God and with his betrothed, Tam, clearly instilled in Mike and Kim and others, a moral compass that has served them well.  But it didn’t stop with a moral compass.  The bedrock of who and Whose they were found its root in the clear belief in God.  Was this clearly visible to all people?  Probably not, because Loren was a very private and quiet man, who only let down his guard with the people he knew, trusted and loved.  This closeness and connection wasn’t just for his two children, but has grown with each addition to the family and the clear bonds shared with one another in celebrating birthdays, 4th of July, around a fire ring at Trenton or sharing a bowl of churned homemade ice cream or with a piece of chocolate cake with icing an inch thick, the way God intended it.

This intimate connection that was known, loved and cherished by those close to Loren, even including his grandson Jason and his family and great grandchildren, now finds its fulfillment with God’s gift of “eternal life” found in the final promise from John 6, where Jesus says, “everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day”.  For today fulfills the gift of eternal life from Jesus Christ to Loren that he was baptized into when the Pastor made the sign of the Cross over his forehead and heart.  Today the exclamation point is placed at the end of the sentence that Loren laid claim to in his Confirmation at this this very rail.  Today God fulfills the gift of eternal life as we lay him to rest next to Tam.  Today we celebrate the completion of not only the circle of life, but Loren’s entrance into eternity and the fulfillment of eternal life.

For though it may seem that death has won today, God, through His Son, Jesus Christ reveals to  we who gather a fuller picture of God’s grace and love for us.  We who gather are empowered and called to believe the offer of grace, not only that was offered and laid claim to by Loren, but that we share with one another of the free gift of grace and eternal life through Jesus Christ.  For this is as Loren would hear Paul Harvey say while driving his brown pickup, is the ‘rest of the story’.  It is a clear demonstration of God’s patience with us and His clearly embracing us, not only in our baptism, but today with the fulfillment of His promise of eternal life, today for Loren and one day for each of us.

May we as we gather to say our final goodbyes, look not with doubt, but with eyes of faith not only believing “that my redeemer lives”.  But that today, God has given us the faith to believe and know the truth found in His Son and Loren’s Savior, of eternal life with Jesus Christ, where now Loren rests in Jesus loving embrace hand in hand with his betrothed, Tam and one day with each and every one of us.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding guard and comfort each of us this morning as we commend Loren back to His Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

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