Funeral Sermon For Dennis William Mitchell / Friday December 10th 2015
Funeral Sermon for Dennis William Mitchell At the Regina Funeral Home December 10th - 2015 / Rev. Ted A. Giese from Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Revelation 21:1-6
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment."
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.
Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Shannon, Dessa, Bev, David, family and Friends.
Tell me what does it look like in heaven
Is it peaceful? Is it free like they say?
Does the sun shine bright forever
Have your fears and your pain gone away.
It was revealed to Saint John what heaven is like, what it will be like: In the Book of Revelation John writes, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away," John continues saying, "I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Who is it that is seated on the throne? Whose voice does John hear? Who is it that will make all things new? Who wipes away every tear? Jesus. Jesus says to John write this down these words are trustworthy and true and Jesus has put me here today to tell them to you as I told them to Dennis.
Is heaven peaceful? Yes. Is it free like they say? Because of Jesus' life, death on the cross and resurrection you don't have to pay for heaven: He gives it to you as a gift. Like Saint Paul says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." So yeah, heaven is free like they say.
About Himself Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die." Then He asks, "Do you believe this?” Dennis did. He was baptized into Jesus and as a Christian Dennis has everything Jesus promises.
When the song says, "Tell me are you happy? Are you more alive [up in heaven]?" The answer is yes. Like we heard in our Gospel lesson, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life." Dennis abides in Jesus and Jesus is the Life. There's no fears in heaven, There's no pain in heaven, There's no cancer in heaven. Like Jesus says, "the former things have passed away." What does this mean? It means that Dennis doesn't pass away, in Jesus Dennis' anxieties and fears have passed away, it means that Dennis doesn't pass away, in Jesus Dennis' cancer has passed away and what Dennis now has in Jesus is Life. Eternal life. Life that will never end.
Do you have to have lived a perfect life, do you have to be perfectly good to have this? No. Jesus uses this analogy, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick [do]." He continued to say of Himself, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Sin is being less than perfect - I fit that category, and I think if you're honest with yourself you'll admit with me that you fit that description too. The good news tucked away in what Jesus says is that He comes for you and for me, He came for Dennis, and like Jesus says in our Gospel reading today, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also."
I hope you're dancing in the sky
And I hope you're singing in the angel's choir
The best dancing is dancing done with someone else, Oh you can dance by yourself ... but dancing by yourself is not the same. Heaven isn't a solitary place, it isn't even a me and Jesus sort of place. Saint John writes in Revelation how he, "looked, and behold, [he saw] a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and heaven is not a lonely place, through baptism everyone there has come out of the tribulations and troubles of this world into a new life where with the whole host of heaven they join in singing in the angel's choir.
While he'll be singing with the angles Dennis won't be an angel Dennis will be Dennis: the Dennis you know and love, the team player, they guy who would come and get you out of trouble when you needed rescuing, the guy who when he respected you and loved you, you knew it; friend, father, brother, husband, son - Dennis will be Dennis: He'll be himself made perfect by Jesus, and he'll be waiting for you when you arrive.
Keep your faith in Christ Jesus and Jesus will bring you home - Jesus is faithful and true. And when you arrive there you'll be greeted by those who have gone on ahead in the Christian faith, you'll be greeted there by Don, and Ruth and Frank and Dennis, by all those whose faith was in Christ Jesus.
Cherish the time you spent with Dennis and feel free to be angry with cancer and with death, death is not your friend, death sucks - however don't let that anger control your life, if you find it controlling you ask Jesus for forgiveness and He will forgive you: Remember that in Christ Jesus' death, cancer and all the troubles of this world are passing away, and in the end on The Last Day they will all pass a way, but Dennis has not passed away Dennis lives with Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen. This is for Dennis, this promise is for you. Amen.
Let us pray:
Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
 Revelation 21:1
 Revelation 21:3-5
 Ephesians 2:8
 John 11:25-26
 John 14:6
 Mark 2:17
 John 14:3
 Revelation 7:9-10
 Revelation 7:13-14
 Acts 2:39