Connected to Life - John 14; Psalm 23 / June 16th, 2022 / Murray Schwartz Funeral Service Sermon
Text: John 14; Romans 8
Theme: “Connected to Life”
Intr – I’ve learned, from the talk with the family this week, that among things Murray loved in life were his family and friends, for sure; also sporting events, baseball, and tomato plants. But there was another thing that he liked very much. Murray loved his 6200 John Deere tractor. He spent hours and hours inside that tractor even after moving to Regina. He continued to lend a hand out there in the farm. Perhaps just as a reason to be back on top of his 6200 again. One of the family members shared with me about this passion by saying that the 6200 Tractor was Murray’s connection back with life – with life in the farm, which he loved much.
Connection with life. Have you ever thought about that - what is it that connects you with life? There are certainly different options of answer, such as family, or work, or travelling, or loving. But it is a profound question: where does the connection with life in our life lies?
Whereas in our earthly life many answers could be presented, when it comes to how our hearts connects to life, the answer we see in the Gospel today is clear and precise. Jesus, when talking with his disciples hours before his agony and death in our place took place, says to them that he is going to prepare a place for them, and adds, “for you know the way I’m going”. Thomas then asks, “We don’t know where you are going, how can we know the way?” This is another important question in life as well. If you don’t know where you are going, how would you know the way? Would the way even matter after all?
Jesus is clear: “I am the way”; and the truth and the life. He is the connection of our hearts with life. The life that begins when we receive faith, life that is sustained by His love. The life that has all its ups and downs, bright and rainy days; sometimes the soil of life is arid, sometimes it’s moist; sometimes it is sprouting up nicely, sometimes is short of what we’ve hoped for; but life to the fullest. In all circumstances of it though, knowing where we are going makes the difference to know that way to get there. Murray was Baptized and confirmed as a Christian. He received in his heart faith in Jesus, and this is the faith that provides us where we are going and tells us who the Way is. This life connects us back to life. In this case, not life on the farm, but life in the fold. In faith we are sheep belonging to the Fold of the Good Shepherd, as we heard from Psalm 23.
When death strikes though, it strikes hard, like Murray’s family and friends can testify to. We may be left with the impression that all we have is disconnection and that purpose and joy will fly away from our hearts. Life changes. But even when the disconnection of death comes, it is temporary. In Christ we know we will see each other again. Both our body and our soul were created by God, and both are saved, and both will live forever. We will be reunited with God and our loved ones who went ahead of us in faith. By the way, since it will a new Earth, we might see some farmlands and some 6200s being driven on them, perhaps? Something yet to be seen. What we know for sure is that, as we carry on in life after we lose a loved one, in faith we are held in the arms of the Good Shepherd, who is the way the truth, the life, and our peace and comfort. We can always fly straight into his arms of love that will hold and sustain us all along our journey of life.
Cc – Now, have you heard about how many hours did Murray spend on top of that 6200? I hear he drove it for 14,000 hours at least. That’s quite a lot. But on this day when we lay Murray’s body to rest we think about eternal life. On that day, the life that we will love so very much will begin. And this is the Life that will last way more than 14,000 hours. It will last into eternity.