Suggested Graveside Sermon

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Funeral for Graveside Service

Memorial Services are in reality for the living and on such occasions they serve a three-fold service!

The First Purpose of a Memorial Service is to Remember the Deceased
A. Obituary Reading

The Second Purpose of a Memorial Service is to Comfort the Broken Hearted.

A. There is comfort in the memories of how __________ touched your life and made it different.
B. There is comfort in remembering that death is not the end.
C. There is comfort in knowing that you can see those who have a relationship with Christ again.
D. Our greatest comfort is found in Christ.

“When sorrow comes, as come it must,
in God man, must place his trust.
There is no power of mortal speech
The anguish of his soul to reach.

No voice, however, sweet and low,
can comfort Him or ease the blow.
He cannot from his fellow men
take strength that will sustain him then.

With all that kindly hands will do,
and all that love may offer too,
He must believe throughout the test
that God has willed it for his best.

…. No words which we have the power to say can take the sting of grief away.

That power that marks the sparrow’s fall
Must comfort and sustain us all.
When sorrow comes, as come it must,
in God man must place his trust.

… And only he may stand serene
who has faith on which to lean.”
.[Edgar Guest. One place it can be found is Sofine’s Edgar Guest Collection -]

Jesus said, “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Jesus has promised through the writer of Hebrews, “I will never leave you ..nor forsake you.”
And it is through a relationship with Christ that we are able to say as the Psalmist, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

The Third Purpose of a Memorial Service is to Prepare the Living.
In reality we are not given a choice about whether to met death, or even when to meet death, only how to meet death. There is in the Gospel according to John a story recorded in the eleventh chapter that speaks to the situation we find ourselves in today. Here Martha and Mary’s beloved brother Lazarus has been sick and has died. Jesus’ words of comfort to this grieving family speaks to those whose hearts are heavy today.

Read (John 11:1, 17-27)
“A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha…. (3) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Master, the one you love so very much is sick."… (17) When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. … (19) and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. (20) Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house. (21) Martha said, "Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. (22) Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you."(23) Jesus said, "Your brother will be raised up." (24) Martha replied, "I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time." (25) "You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, the Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. (26) And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"
(27) "Yes, Master.