Funeral Sermon For Martin (Pat) Andreas / Tuesday March 7th - 2017
Funeral Sermon for Martin “Pat” Andreas: Tuesday March 7th, 2017 at Mount Olive Lutheran Church by Pr. Ted A. Giese, Regina Saskatchewan - John 20:11-18
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that He had said these things to her.”
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. Good Christian Friends. The heart and soul of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ crucified, dead on the cross for you, for me, for Martin Andreas: Our dearest “Pat.” It is the death of Christ Jesus that brings Mary Magdalene to the garden that first Easter morning which we heard about in our Gospel Reading today. She comes to honour her teacher Jesus and when she finds His body missing she is distraught all over again. Is it not enough that Jesus suffered and died; now they have taken her Lord Jesus away, and she doesn’t know where they have laid Him? Jesus had repeatedly talked about His death and resurrection, and when He was about to raise His friend Lazarus from the dead prior to His own death and resurrection Jesus said to Lazuras’ sister, “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.” And then Jesus adds, “Do you believe this?” Pat believed this and this is why we can remember today that Pat is alive in Christ Jesus, he with all the faithfully departed now await the resurrection on The Last Day. They rest in peace because Christ Jesus is the Prince of Peace. It is peace and comfort that Jesus gave to His student Mary Magdalene in the garden in the midst of her grief and it is peace and comfort that Jesus has for you today as you grieve Pat’s physical death.
Christianity is not an ethereal super-spiritual abstract religion devoid of concrete promises. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus you are promised a resurrection like His. In the resurrection on The Last Day all those who die with their faith in Christ Jesus will walk with their own two feet into the new heavens and the new earth as citizens of a flesh and blood world made new in Christ Jesus. Because of this your “citizenship [even now as a baptized Child of God who rests their faith in Christ] is in heaven, and from it we await [the return of our] Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” This is what Saint Paul wrote to the Christians in the Greek city of Philippi. Take heart, these words were not just for them they are for you too: This means that you, in your resurrected body on That Day, will look upon Pat again with your own eyes and you will be able to squeeze his hand in yours and hug him and hear his laugh and see that twinkle in his eye. On That Day, and for eternity, life in Christ will be perfect and unlike Mary Magdalene who in the garden was told by Jesus, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” Unlike that first Easter morning there will be no more going, no more telling, no more waiting, just perfect peace.
The going and the telling that Jesus asked Mary Magdalene to do was, and is, very important. Without it people would not have known of Jesus’ Easter Resurrection. So much depends on this going and telling, Saint Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” It was in fact a visit from Pastor Becker which moved things along for Martin to be baptised and to be confirmed here at Mount Olive, and it was the Word of God - used by the Holy Spirit - that built up and nourished and strengthened Pat’s, God given, faith in Jesus at that time and in the years between then and now. Without faithful people like Mary Magdalene who spread news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, without the Apostles, to whom she was sent, who then became preachers and teachers of Christ to the nations there would be no Pastor Becker, and no Mount Olive and we would not be here today and you would not be hearing this word. Hearing God’s Word has always been important to Pat, even when he was not able to come in person, he and Leonora loved listening to the Services of the Church at home on DVD. And I hear that Stephanie helped make sure that would work … the technical details. The voice of Christ Jesus spoke to them even there; His word is important wherever you hear it.
On that first Easter morning when Mary Magdalene was seeking the body of Jesus she didn’t at first recognize the risen Lord. She thought He was the gardener, but the good news is that, while she didn’t at first recognize Jesus, Jesus knew her and called her by name. As soon as Jesus spoke to her she knew Him. Elsewhere in the Gospel of John Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” Jesus knows Pat, Has known Pat, and will know Pat for Eternity just as Jesus knows you. Jesus is the Good Shepherd of the sheep. He is the Shepherd of Psalm 23 who led Pat through the valley of the shadow of death, never leaving him, holding him always in His Almighty hand: Anointing his head with oil, making his cup overflow in Holy Communion, following him with goodness and mercy all the days of Pat’s baptismal life. Jesus as teacher was there leading Pat in paths of righteousness, you likely saw the results of this teaching in Pat’s Christian charity to others. Because he knew the charity of God towards him Pat desired to show this to others in return. The more gifts you receive the more gifts you desire to give. In the Book of Hebrews we are commended to, “Remember [our] leaders, those who spoke to [us] the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Today I want you to consider Martin, our dear Pat, and think on him as an example of Faith in Christ, faith in “Jesus Christ [who] is the same yesterday and today and forever.” What would it look like if you imitated Pat’s faith in Jesus? Live lives of charity, work hard, turn always to Jesus for forgiveness, come to the Lord’s House to hear His Word and receive His gifts, get involved in your church home, embrace and cherish your baptism into the Lord and hold fast to the promises of God. Trusting that in the end Christ will make you perfect as He is perfect, which is a great promise in a world full of imperfection.
I leave you with that baptismal promise from Romans 6 that we spoke together at the beginning of the Service today, where Saint Paul says, “For if we have been united with [Jesus] in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with [Jesus] in a resurrection like His.” The promise was for Pat, it is for you; cling to this promise, cling to that old rugged cross, the emblem of that promise, trusting that Jesus will give you the crown of glory. And don’t forget to go and tell others of your risen and ascended Lord Jesus. 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.
 Matthew 16:21 “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
 John 11:25-26
 Isaiah 9:6
 Revelation 21:5
 Philippians 3:20-21
 Romans 10:17
 John 10:27-29
 Hebrews 13:7-8
 Romans 6:5