Linda Unruh Funeral Sermon - Romans 8:35-39/ March 12th 2020 / Nothing separates us from His Love
Sermon – Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Funeral Service of Linda Unruh
Text: Romans 8:35-39
Theme: Nothing separates us from His Love
Intr – When you think about Linda and her trajectory of 96 years on this side of heaven, what are the things that can never be separated from her personality? That is, the things that go together with her in an inseparable way?
I met with family this week and they shared some of them. Linda and Gardening; Linda and her hip, spunky personality; Linda and her neat, tidy home; Linda and cottage time together with family.
Here’s one though that is the most important: Linda and her faith and Church life. The grandchildren share with me fond memories about coming faithfully to Church, attending services, hearing her beautiful voice singing hymns; and also those tasty, special Chiclets she’d always have for them.
Well, you may think, “the pastor is saying this is the most important one because he is a pastor…” well, perhaps that may play a part on that. But the readings for today back up that definition.
Psalm 23 – The Lord is her Shepherd. Since her Baptism on June, 1924 she belongs to Him and Him she worshiped. She knew she had someone who would lead her to green pastures and to still waters. As a farm girl and gardening lover she was those words would certainly touch her deeply.
Romans 8 - We hear that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus. I can’t think of any words that could be more important than these for Linda during the many ordeals she had to endure. She walked the valley of the shadow of death many times before her own death, mourning the deaths of loved ones close to her heart. Even as positive as a person the family remembers her to be, they know also she had her awful and sad days of mourning. She knew though that even though we have to endure separations in this life, nothing will ever separate her, you, us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Nor even life or death. As her obituary reads, “She was met at heaven's gate by her loving husband, her daughters, her sister-in-law, as well as her parents.” This is the Christian true hope that death will never separate us forever, only for a brief period until the final reunion. Paul puts out in Romans 8 a list of 10 items that sum up all the things our human minds could think would separate us from God and lead us into despaired sobbing and sorrow. However none of them can ever separate us from that special love. In difficult times, sometimes we go astray from faith in doubts and questions. Christ never goes; He is always there, with his forgiveness, love and promise of the life eternal. For you and for me, through faith in Him.
John 14 – To have a way=meaning; to know the truth; and to live life. We can hardly find other 3 things that we want the most. Linda knew that in Christ she had the Way, the Truth and the Life. She knew that in His Word and His Sacraments she would meet him, receive him, be strengthened for daily life and to be a positive influence in the life of many.
Separations always hurt; whether we have to make a decision to separate from a person, or if the person is separated from us. We mourn and we feel sad. Still, we carry on looking after things we deem important in life. Jesus’ message for Linda’s life, for the life of all of us, is one, the same and the most important one: as we walk in faith in Him, we may have our darkest hours and our saddest moments. But no one of them, nothing in the entire world, is able to separate is from His Love and presence. He walks with us, wipes our tears; He holds our hands. He separates us from a world of pain and sorrow to bring us close to His arms of comfort, hope and peace.
Cc – Dear family and friends, as Linda and many good memories go together from now on, and nothing can separate them in your hearts and minds, remember that Christ came to this world to give His life on His Cross so that we wouldn’t be separated from God anymore. Faith bridges the gap and connects us to him, and to the ones we love that walk in that faith. In Him we know that death’s separation is temporary. The reunion at Heaven’s Gate before Christ will be permanent. We will be connected to Him and to each other from day one to forever. Nothing will ever separate us from this eternal truth.