Rev. Paul J Cain
Christ Will Take Care of You
Funeral Service Sermon for Norma Jean (Deines) Goodman
Friday of Epiphany II, 22 January 2010
(Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming)
At Kane Funeral Home
In the Name of Jesus. Amen
Jesus has words of comfort for all who mourn Norma Goodman:.. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I did not have the privilege of knowing Norma in this life. You did. So I ask, is there any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy? Yes, says St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians. Christ is not merely a message of encouragement, but encouragement personified. His love comforts us because God in Christ loved us first so that we can love one another. The Holy Spirit is bestowed on all Christians. The Spirit delivers the gift of forgiveness Christ won on the cross. And yes, Jesus has affection and sympathy for you and all for whom He died, including Norma Jean Goodman.
She was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming on May 20, 1945, with a confirmation verse of John 3:16. She confessed with her own heart, mind, and mouth the faith into which she was baptized, washed in the blood of the Lamb.
For God so loved Norma that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, die, and rise in victory for Norma, so that believing in Jesus as the Savior from sin, death, and the devil, Norma has not perished eternally but Norma has eternal life. It is one thing to read or memorize and recite John 3:16. It is another to hear the comfort of Christ for yourself with your name in the blank right where Norma’s was.
Yet, in this world we do have trouble. Jesus was very correct in His prediction. We have trouble, suffering, and death to face. We carry a “cross” of sorts, the burdens God has allowed to come into our lives. Why? Well, things happen for a reason. He wants to you come to faith. He wants you to believe in His Son whom He sent for you. Hard times test our faith. God intends that our faith in Him is strengthened through the struggles that we face. But sometimes we don’t want to hear Him. So he gets our attention another way. And then, we hear His Word.
Jesus died on the Old Rugged Cross to do what your cross bearing could never do. He reconciled you to God. He took your sins and dumped them in the bottom of the sea. His gifts prepare you for the last day, the restoration of the Garden of Eden on the Last Day, Judgment Day, Resurrection Day, the Day of the new heaven and earth.
Imagine! The tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? All Christians will share together the joys of Christ. I can just imagine the garden full of flowers, like those mentioned in the psalm. Norma enjoyed flowers. She could even see bright ones in good lighting through her peripheral vision even after macular degeneration rendered her nearly blind. On the Last Day, Resurrection Day, God will heal everything He had not healed in this life. She will see again.
Jesus invites you to rest in Him, because He has come for you and to you. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Rest in Christ. God will take care of you…in Christ. He gives and gives and gives His Gifts. His love for you will never run out. His forgiveness is unending. Hope in Christ endures forever.
Come to Him all who need heavenly rest, Christ will take care of you;
He gave Himself at our Father’s request, Christ surely died for you.
Christ gives His Gifts to you: Won on the Cross, Delivered today;
Christ gives His Gifts to you: Word, water, wine, and bread.
Stanza 5 and Final Refrain: Paul J Cain, 2010
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.