Funeral Sermon for Margaret Strasser / Friday July 19th 2013
Funeral Sermon for Margaret Strasser / Friday July 19th 2013 / Rev. Ted Giese / Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Regina, Saskatchewan.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord. Amen.
I’m often blessed to have these moments with people; I was blessed to have one like that with Margaret. Many of you will have had encouraging moments like that with her too. Perhaps you all didn’t know this side of her, perhaps you knew the organized determined side that faced down troubles and difficulties as challenges, maybe you knew her as one who found opportunity in the hard times. These two people are not different people. Margaret as Mother and Wife as Nurses Aid as Worker as Chairperson as Friend was always one who had the gift of faith and the practice of prayer; she was one who in daily life brought her request to God with thanksgiving: But why?
The Christian will say that the best part of them, the part that is true and honorable, and just, and pure, and lovely, and commendable, and excellent, the part of them that’s worthy of praise isn’t themselves and isn’t the work of their hands but is Jesus who is in them: The same Jesus who hung lifeless upon the cross, dead for our sin. He is the one who is true and honorable, and just, and pure, and lovely, and commendable, and excellent, Jesus is worthy of praise for He is the one who has saved us by His blood and He is the one “who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious [resurrected] body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” This is the time given to contemplate and think on these things, today is the time, because apart from Christ Jesus there is no hope of eternal life. St. Paul says that “if Christ has not been raised [from the dead], your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. [And those] who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” It is precisely at a time like this that we are presented with the question: do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Margaret believed this. You can too. But I don’t have the strength to believe it! “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for [us].”
The next time you see Margaret she will be beautiful, the spectre of death will be wiped away forever, just as we heard from St. Paul on the last day we will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye, and when you lay your eyes on Margaret on that day she will be radiant and perfect just as Jesus is. This is for you, this same Jesus, the Jesus of the Holy Bible, the Jesus in whose name Margaret prayed is the one who set you and me and Margaret free. For this reason we “rejoice in the Lord always;” because a day is coming when we who believe in Jesus and confess His name will all be gathered together into that happy reunion in Christ Jesus, at just the right time eternity will begin and it will last forever in peace, Margret has gone to that peace ahead of you but you can have that peace even now in Christ Jesus as you await the Day to come. 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 Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
 1 Thessalonians 5:17
 Romans 8:38-39
 Romans 5:6
 Philippians 3:21
 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
 John 11
 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
 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.”
 Romans 10:9