Funeral Sermon, Arthur Kachuik / Monday, May 21st 2018
Text: John 14
Theme: “A project finished on the wood”
Intr – If you go to Arthur’s house today – actually also Denise family’s house as well – where he lived for decades, and you’d open the garage door, you’ll find many things there, I am sure. But there’s one thing you’ll find there that is hardly found anywhere else: it is an unfinished wood-made project. According to the report I received from Denise and Tammy, it is something that the family actually doesn’t know what to make of, in fact, they aren’t even sure what it is. But they know it’s something that was in the making, since Arthur loved wood working.
Last week, Arthur was called home by the father as the age of 88. Whenever someone passes away, no matter the age, we always tend to think: "that’s so sad; that life was an unfinished project." Yes, because no matter how old we are, a life that is interrupted looks to us like an unfinished project. There was always the next thing to buy or to build, the next trip, the next grandson, the next dream.... We humans were created by God to live forever, but sin came in to mess with it, and now we are fragile, finite beings longing for eternity.
Fortunately for Arthur, and for all of us when walking in the way of the Lord, his life was not and unfinished project. When someone dies, this may be the impression we have from this side of Heaven. From God’s perspective, though, our days are written in the palm of His hand. His Gracious will follows us every single day, by faith in Christ, and so there’s no missing second, or left minute in our lives. We belong to Him.
What gives us that guarantee? How can we be certain that we are not a project cut short, and unfinished endeavour left behind?
Because we know from the Word of God that His project was a complete one. When sin entered the World, as I mentioned, Grace and the Promise immediately followed. God promised the cure for sin, the cure for mortality, the rebranding of a project ruined when the Devil came out of the woodwork to tempt Adam and Eve to fall.
God promised His Son. He did not allow His plan to go unfinished. He did not permit his project to be cut short so no one would know what it was. Jesus came to this side of Heaven to accomplsih what the Father had designed. He came as man and as God to make that plan to be thoroughly and completely carried out until its completion.
And where was it finished? On a piece of wood. Jesus was hung on the tree to wash our sins away, to make us family, to bring us the certainty, the assuredness that our lives are not an incomplete wandering, but a definite walk toward a definite place. The project finished on the wood – Christ’s death - assures us that whatever our perception or life and death may be, it is always imperfect. When we look to Christ, we see Him saying: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. This is a complete statement. It sums up everything we need, we know, and nurtures us. We have our Saviour who carries out his plan for our lives in every single detail.
That complete forgiveness and new life was applied to Arthur in the moment the Holy Spirit brought faith to his heart. That completeness was maintained by the Him throughout his life until his last breath, last week, showing that those who depart in Christ meet Him eternity.
This is the assuredness that carries us on in life. We miss our loved ones. We somehow are left with a feeeling of incompleteness. In every moment we know we can turn our eyes to Him, in faith, for is wholesome love and kindness, knowing that he is always in our neck of the woods, by faith, to strengthen our hearts and to carried out his project for our lives. As we know that Arthur had many finished projects, many plans with family and friends, many good memories produced in times together, we also know that our Lord has finished His project of saving Arthur and us, and preparing a place for us with Him, forever.
Cc - February 25th, 2017. That was the first time I attended a funeral as a Pastor in Canada. That was Marjorie’s funeral, in this same place. On that day, Pastor Giese led the service and preached the sermon. As a conclusion to my sermon, I’ll make use of some of his concluding words then, to comfort us now. Because for Marjorie, for Arthur, for you and for me the same comfort from the Word of God always apply: “This promise was for Marjorie(Arthur) and it is for you. Deep in this promise, deep in your Christian Faith, your faith in Jesus, you too can take to heart Jesus’ words when He says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” Hold fast to Him. In your Baptism He Holds Fast to you. Believe in Him. I am here today to tell you what He says, to bring Jesus’ words to you. Jesus in another part of the Gospels in the Bible says, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.So, come to Him with your grief and He will give you peace, forgiveness, joy and rest: all of these things Marjorie(Arthur) now has in Christ. In Christ Jesus MarjorieA(rthur) has been delivered from every evil of this world. Is He who says to you today, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.”
Maybe you Denise, Tammy, all the family would be curious to know where that project Arthur started was going. We don’t know. What we know though is where Arthur went, because by God’s grace he believed in Christ. That is the same place we will all go, in the last Day, when he comes to take us to our eternal home. Amen.