Saturday, August 10, 2013

Funeral Sermon - John 6, 1 Corinthians 13 - in memoriam Don Theesfeld

Our Lord calls his servants to his side. We never know ahead of time how he will provide for them or what he will do through them.
Our brother, Don, who lies here is one of those people who always seemed surprised at how his Savior had worked in him.
Whenever we would talk he always wanted to talk about how the Lord had blessed him.
Life of farming
opportunities for service
ability to love and serve his late wife, Elizabeth, ability to love and serve his wife, Virginia.
Never blessed with children, so he worked to be God's blessing to others, both family and friends
always seemed hungry to hear from God's Word and to receive the Sacrament of communion
This is where life comes from – God's Word.
This is where we find our hope.
This is where we find love – this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son Jesus Christ for us.
This is where we end up living, in 1 Corinthians 13.
Not our love
Not our patience
Not our kindness
Christ's love on our behalf
What will Jesus do through us?
Love our neighbor
Bless those who curse us
Persevere patiently, knowing that our reward is great because our Savior is great
All those earthly things, as we read in 1 Corinthians 13, will pass away.
God's love will endure forever.
We are weak, we wither, we fade away
Might as well give of what the Lord has given us. He has blessed us, we can be a blessing to others.
We love because Christ first loved us.
We give because Jesus has given to us.
We nurture others because Jesus has nurtured us.
How has he nurtured us?
Word and Sacrament.
How do we do the works of God?
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our eternal bread. This is food to life everlasting.
As we lay our brother to rest, we know we can see him again. He has spent many years hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
He has been a partaker of the Word of God, the food to eternal life.
He will rise again, for he knows that his Savior has risen again.
He has seen his Savior face to face. All wondering, all doubting, all fear, all the cares of this world have passed away.
We too can look to our Savior. We too, right here, right now, are partakers of the Word of God. We too do the works of God by hearing and believing the Word of the Lord. We too are nourished to eternal life. And we know that death is not final. It has been overcome in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Jesus is the one who raises the dead. Jesus is the one who gives himself so that we can rise like him.
Don is not alone. Neither are we. We too can rest in the perfect love of Christ, who casts out all fear, who has defeated death on our behalf. Let us then look to him, trusting that he is our great reward, as he is the reward of our brother Don.
Throughout this day, then, as we are led by our brother to the cemetary, as we walk down the path we pursue, let us remember how our Savior went there too. Let us build one another up, reminding each other of the Word of God at work in our brother, reminding one another of the Word of God at work in each one of us. I hope the luncheon will be a place where that building up continues, as we tell stories and share memories. I hope that in the days and weeks to come we will gather around Virginia and the rest of the family and friends, building one another up together in that living hope that we have in Jesus, receiving nurture to eternal life.
That's what our Savior has given us. That's what our brother Don would rejoice in, for he always hungered for the Word of God.
Now may the peace of God which passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

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