Changing Rooms – a funeral meditation

FUNERAL ADDRESS: A life-time faithful follower of jesus at St Petri, March 13, 2012, St Petri

John 14: 1-6  Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me. 2 My Father’s house has plenty of room; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” Jesus the Way to the Father 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Friends, is there any doubt that our loved sister in Christ was a daughter of God? She chose this very word from Jesus for this moment when we would be gathered here together in his presence. I can only assume that this word from Jesus was precious to her. It must have been a word that sustained her as she thought about her life and her death and all of you who would be here. What a gift of encouragement and solid faith to give to us now.

our sister, who is now with the Lord, speaks these words with her Lord—the resurrected Jesus to us all as we now reflect on our life and our mortality.

The call comes today—”Trust me”.  This particular person obviously trusted the word of Jesus all her life and it sustained her in her full life. God blessed her trust as he gave her children and great grandchildren too—a family who surrounded her with respect and love and a family who saw Jesus in her.

Today, by Jesus’ promise and our loved friend, mother ands grandmother’s example of faith, we might catch a glimpse of our life in Jesus. Jesus says that his Father’s house has many rooms – each one a room of care and healing and support – each one with a name on it:

Jesus is the great builder of life. He is the one who builds our room to live with him. He is the one preparing the room for our arrival. It is a room with our name on the door.

According to Jesus, since the day that our sister in Christ was first welcomes into the family of God in the simple and powerful act of baptism, Jesus has been constructing her room. Now she has entered it and will be there with him forever.

Since the day of our baptism, Jesus has been constructing a room for you and me. It may be hard to believe this. It was for those around Jesus. They were troubled when he said that he must leave them. They were even more troubled when he said he must be killed for their sake.

They did not know this way of things. They did not know how to follow him into his suffering and death.

But, to troubled people who wonder about their future and about their dying and about God and who he is and what his intentions are—especially in our suffering and grief, Jesus offers us this promise. He is the way through it. He is the truth of it. He is the life for which we long and which he freely gives to all who trust in him for their life.

We pray that God would give us faith to trust his promise to keep us together with him through our life and at our last breath when we simply change rooms—change address. Death is no longer final but a moment of change for those who trust in Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Amen

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