Katherine Dech Funeral Sermon - Psalm 23; John 14:1-7 April 3rd 2019 / All the days of my life
Text: Psalm 23, John 14
Theme: “All the days of my life”
Intr –Among many beautiful things King David writes in Psalm 23, he lets us know that “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
Now, when life is lived by faith, for how many days would’ve that promise been applied so far? For a person in their 20’s, that would be at least 7,300 days. If you are in your 50’s it would go up to 18,250ish. If you are hitting the 80’s that would mean around 29,200. For Kay Dech the final number is a bit over 36,600 days (because we are not counting leap years here).
Then think for a moment: what is the thing you could have in life that would be there for over 36k days uninterruptedly assured?
Farming? Kay loved it, she always talked about those good old days. But eventually she moved out of there. Baking? Kay loved baking but at some point of her life the days of baking were interrupted too. A house? Clothes? Possessions? I know I am not wrong in affirming that none of these were there for uninterrupted 36k days. There were changes, there were gains and losses. Not even family was there uninterruptedly, be it because of additions that came later, like husband and children, of because losses came later too, even one of the most hard losses a person can have, the death of a son. “Well pastor, at least her own body she had uninterruptedly there.” Well, sort of, because our body is never a hundred per cent in place along our life. Even in here last days Kay had to deal with a broken bone.
Sin. Brokenness. Loss. Sadness. All the days of our lives are full of those, and today is again a day for all of us to grieve over the loss of a loved one.
When we think about the days of our lives though, and how things change away from what we think we perceive even more clearly the beaming words of Psalm 23: “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” It doesn’t say “some days”, it doesn’t say which or how many years; it doesn’t say “there are some exceptions though”. King David doesn’t leave room for doubt: all the days of my life.
It starts in Baptism. Kay was brought to it early on in life. Faith in the Son is lit in our hearts right there so that we are transplanted into God’s lot, God’s farm, to grow as good trees and produce plenty of fruit. Goodness and Mercy from the Lord start to flow into our hearts from there to all the days of our lives. It continues in receiving God’s Word and Sacraments to nurture and strengthen our faith. Strengthened by Him Kay was a faithful servant in His kingdom especially singing in the choir and working with the ladies aid. By mentioning this do we mean that someone is obtaining God’s favour by serving in Church? No, that means we want to serve Him and our neighbour motivated by, as a response to His goodness and mercy shining forth from His Word.
All the days of Kay’s life in this side of heaven are now over. There were over 36k days where God’s goodness and mercy followed her. This same goodness and mercy are for you. As you look behind to the days of your life, can you notice how many times they were there, God’s mercy and goodness? As you look ahead on all the days of your life that you may still have in front of you do you believe that this promise is for you? I tell you – it is. Faith in Christ assures you that goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
By the way, notice how the verse starts with “surely”. It is not “maybe”, it is not “perhaps”, it is not “I’m rather sure that”. It is not “sometimes”. It is surely. As we carry on in life, especially family and friends, in grief and sorrow over Kay’s death, this keeps us going – surely God’s goodness and Mercy in Christ will follow us. He said in the Gospel, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. He comforts us, strengthens us, He wipes the tears of our eyes and brings a song of thankfulness to our hearts. He saved us on the Cross, and rose again on the third day; He promised to be with us every single day. Not only the next couple years. Not only so many years. It is all the days of our lives, until the Last Day, when we will be called back to life and be reunited with all who departed in Him. How do we know that, is it for sure, since we have so many troubles, sorrows, falls, and doubts in life? Let’s use here one of Kay’s favourite sayings: “You can take a girl away from the farm, but you can’t take the farm away from a girl”. I will change it a bit and say: When Problems, sorrow, temptations kick in they may try to take a person away from a Christ; but they can never take Christ away from a person when he or she is firmly grounded by Him in the solid Ground of His Word. Then you can never take away from the assuredness of life everlasting.
Cc – The family shared with me last week that Kay and her husband where that type of people always open and congenial with people visiting with them. You would feel at home right away. From the Word of God, we know that Kay is now in a place like this, where she’ll fell at home right away: the house of the Lord. God’s goodness and Mercy in Christ promise us so. It is there that we will spend all the days of our eternity.