Connected to Love, Life and loved ones - Ruth McKim Funeral Sermon - Romans 8
Text: Romans 8
Theme: “Connected to Love, Life and loved ones”
Intr – Dear family and friends, what if separation would never have to happen? What if would be possible to be close to our loved ones, keeping the love exchange going on forever? This is one thought that might come to mind on a Funeral Day. As we remember a love one’s life, we also might wonder what if we could have that person forever close to us?
This day and this Service is a remembrance to all of us that this is actually possible. It is something very real. A Christian Funeral Service is the moment when we celebrate the life of the person we love on this side of Heaven; but above all we celebrate Life, capital L. The Life we have in Christ, whose love gives us a life that never ends.
In the epistle of Romans 8 we heard: “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus”. The text here doesn’t leave room for some “exceptions,” or doesn’t say “unless”, or “only if”. Absolutely nothing in the entire Creation can prevent us from being loved by God. When you look into a baptized child of God’s life, you see that promise happening. According to the family, Church was Ruth’s second home. She was very involved and active. Now because she was good an active then Jesus loved her, is that right? No, it is the other way around. Jesus has loved her first. He has called us first. Now, as children of God, we know that we are in Him. As Psalm 139 told us, he know everything. When we wake up and when we lay down. When we go far or stay near. He knows. He loves. He loved us so much that to bridge the terrible gap of sin that created a separation between God and us He gave His own life. Now we know that not even death can separate us from the Love of God which is our in Christ. Our connection to Love and Life in Christ is permanent and eternal.
However, on a day like today, when loss and mourning are present, some words from St Paul may seem a little odd to hear, as when he says: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,” It seems the other way around, for we have to face death and sorrow. When we sharpen our concept of good against God’s Word though, we learn that there is nothing better in life that to be in Him – that’s what the rest of the verse says: “for those who are called according to his purpose.” We were called to be His, so now everything works for our good, even losses, even difficulties, even death. The main reason for that is we know death doesn’t have the final say. Life does. Our life once started never ends; after death, after the Last Day comes eternity with Jesus. There can be no greater good than this. Definitely, everything works for good in Christ.
Does death cause separation? Well, we could say so, but only temporary separation. When we live in Christ, to die is gain, says Paul in Philippians. That is so because when we depart this world connected to Christ by faith we already know we will see each other again. We will be reunited with God and our loved ones who went ahead of us in faith, to live forever with Christ in the New Earth and New Heavens. This promise is for you; is for me. This promise sustains you in your sorrow and gives hope and life to your days. Living with trust in God’s promises makes all the difference in moments like these when we lose people we love and have to deal with grief and sorrow: nothing will be able to remove us from God’s love, for in all things God works for our good through faith.
Cc – The sisters told me in our meeting that Ruth had as one of her mottos in life “how would Christ act?” This is a way to think about decisions we need to make in life. Now, what we already know however is How Christ acted. He connected us. He died on his Cross and rose on the third day to bridge the separation gap between us and God. In Him, there is nothing in the entire universe that is able to separate us from God’s Love. Our connection to Life, Love and our loved ones in Jesus Christ is eternal.