More / Book of the Month / Kai Blake Grant-Mcnab Funeral Sermon - Jeremiah 31:15–17 June 21st 2022 / Hope for Your Future

Kai Blake Grant-Mcnab Funeral Sermon - Jeremiah 31:15–17 June 21st 2022 / Hope for Your Future




Kai Blake Grant-Mcnab Funeral Sermon - Jeremiah 31:15–17 June 21st 2022 / Hope for Your Future

Included in the above audio file, following the sermon, is a piece of music sung by Pr. Lucas Albrecht, “Your True Promises.”

Funeral Service for Kai Blake Grant-Mcnab / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Tuesday June 21st 2022: Season of Pentecost / Jeremiah 31:15–17 "Hope for Your Future" (Kai died before birth at 21 weeks 5 day)

          Thus says the LORD:

          “A voice is heard in Ramah,

                   lamentation and bitter weeping.

          Rachel is weeping for her children;

                   she refuses to be comforted for her children,

                   because they are no more.”

     

          Thus says the LORD:

          “Keep your voice from weeping,

                   and your eyes from tears,

          for there is a reward for your work,

                                                declares the LORD,

                   and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

          There is hope for your future,

                                                declares the LORD,

                   and your children shall come back to their own country.

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. Samantha and Dillion, and all the family of Kai, in the reading we heard from the prophet Jeremiah we heard three things: First that God sees and hears our suffering, “Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” The second thing is a promise, the LORD promises the women who had lost their children to Death saying that “they [the ones who died] shall come back from the land of the enemy.” the LORD promises, “There is hope for your future … your children shall come back to their own country.” The third thing we’ll hold off on for a minute or two.  

Death is the enemy of Life. It is a cause of suffering for the living, it is always seeking to take us, from the moment of conception Death is there seeking to have us but we do not belong to Death. What did we hear from Psalm 139, the Psalmist says of the Creator, “You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb … I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your Works. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”[1] Death came early to Kai but Kai does not belong to Death; Kai belongs to the One who made him and to the two of you, his mother and his father, and to his family and to all of us. And because Kai does not belong to Death, Death cannot keep him. In the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible we are taught that “the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it,”[2] and so Kai’s body will return to the earth but his spirit has returned to the One who created him, his spirit returns to God. Kia returns to the hands of God and those hands are “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” and as Psalm 145 also say, “The LORD is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.”[3] His mercy now is over Kai and Kai, in His hands, will be kept safe until the promise is fulfilled when Kai’s body shall come back from the land of the enemy reunited with his spirit on The Last Day to stand tall in the new heavens and new earth. So I say again, Kai does not belong to Death, he belongs to God, his creator, and he belongs to you.  

Samantha in Kai you have been made a mother and Death cannot take that away from you, it is a gift of God. Dillion in Kai you have been made a father and Death cannot take that away from you, it is a gift of God. And when more children come, by the grace of God, they will be Kai’s siblings and they will have a brother and Death cannot take that away from them, it is a gift of God. Dear ones Kai is part of your family and Death cannot take that away from you, it is a gift of God. And on The Last Day when the dead are raised in Christ along with all that are in the hands of God, all that are in His tender care, on That Day when we are reunited you will meet Kai again as he was supposed to be yet made new, made perfect by Jesus who has defeated Death by His own innocent blood.

This is the promise of God found in the Bible, in the Revelation to Saint John Jesus Himself says, “Behold, I am making all things new.”[4] And thinking about our promised heavenly home and Jesus’ return on The Last Day Saint Paul writes, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, 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.”[5] Kai has gone on ahead of us to that place and in Christ Kai will be there to greet us as we one by one, in our time, take up citizenship there in that place for ourselves, by the grace of God. On That Last Day Kai, and all of us, will be transformed by the Lord, this is God’s promise to us and we see it already in the Old Testament in those words from the prophet Jeremiah. Jesus has this power and authority, the power and authority to do these things, from His Father because Jesus willingly faced Death,[6] allowing Death to take Him at the cross in His crucifixion,[7] but even though Death took Jesus at the cross Jesus did not belong to Death and on the third day, that first Easter Sunday,[8] “God raised [Jesus] up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for [Jesus] to be held by it.”[9]

The Bible tells us that Jesus was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;”[10] He is there with us as we suffer — “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”[11] — so when everything feels as though it is set against you and the waves of suffering keep crashing against your faith, and you are angry with everything that has happened remember Christ also suffered, in fact Scripture teaches “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly [to His heavenly Father]. [Jesus] Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree [of the cross], that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” In Christ Jesus you are not alone in your suffering, remember you have each other also, and you have your family, you have all of us; you need never be alone and you are not alone. “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted.”

So first we trust that God knows our hurt, He knows your pain and your sadness; second remember that God the Father has won the victory over Death in Christ Jesus His Son and He promises in Christ to redeem and restore Kia on The Last Day. Even now He cares for Kia until That Day because He created Kai, because He knit Kia together in your womb Samantha, for this reason we can trust that Kai is at rest in His hands, and we too are all in God’s hands, in the only hands that promise peace and hope in the face of Death. This brings us to the third thing from Jeremiah, the LORD says “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD,” by itself this might sound rough, but we know that Scripture interprets Scripture and that when something is hard to hear we look to what Scripture says in other parts of the Bible to better understand it and in the Book of Ecclesiastes we are comforted by these words, “For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be [in this life]? No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death.”[12] Yet Ecclesiastes says there is, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”[13]

Today you are angry with Death, you have had days of tears and weeping, of sorrow, your joy has been taken from you but there is a time for everything and God promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes on The Last Day, and on That Day “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”[14] In this life, in these days, Jesus says to you, “those who mourn … shall be comforted,”[15] this will be a blessing as it happens for you, and how does it happen? It happens with His word when you read and hear it from the Bible and it also happens when He sends His Holy Spirit amongst you giving you the right thing to say at the right time[16] to bring comfort in your sorrow, God is a God of means, this is how He brings you comfort and peace by placing us all where we need to be to speak His word of hope and comfort in times of need. Lastly remember Death has one way to steal your joy while on the other hand God has a million ways and more to provide you comfort and peace and joy throughout your life. And where Death is the enemy of life Jesus on the other hand is “The Way, the Truth and the Life.”[17] His mercy is over all that He has made, He created each of us,[18] and Kai and you and I are all His, we do not belong to Death. Dear ones, “there is hope for your future” by the grace of God keep the faith, remain faithful; your reward will be great, in Christ you are promised an eternity together. 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.

[1] Psalm 139:13-14,16
[2] Ecclesiastes 12:7
[3] Psalm 145:8–9
[4] Revelation 21:5
[5] Philippians 3:20–21
[6] John 10:17-18; 1 John 3:16
[7] Matthew 27:27-54
[8] John 20:1-18
[9] Acts 2:24
[10] Isaiah 53:3
[11] Psalm 34:18
[12] Ecclesiastes 8:6–8
[13] Ecclesiastes 3:4
[14] Revelation 21:4
[15] Matthew 5:4
[16] Matthew 10:19-20
[17] John 14:6
[18] John 1:1-3

Photo Credits: Main Photo provided by the family and Mount Olive Lutheran Church; detail of Kai's ultrasound at 21 weeks; Photo of Samantha Grant and Dillion Mcnab Kia's parents; detail with purple tint of a sculpture of Jesus with additional crosses from pexels; low relief sculpture of Jesus crucified from pexels; detail of stained glass window of Jesus with angels from pxhere; detail of time together at table from pexels


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