Mavis Andrews Funeral Sermon - John 14:1–7 Sept 10th 2018 / The Good Time That Will Never End
Mavis Andrews Funeral Sermon - Pr. Ted A. Giese / Monday September 10th 2018: Season of Pentecost / John 14:1–7
[Jesus says,] “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
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, family. Jesus says, “work … while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” In other words, make hay while the sun is shining … because the sun can’t shine every day. Many of you will know that Trooper is one of Mavis’ favorite bands and that one of her favourite Trooper songs is “We're Here for a Good Time,” and in the song, if you remember it, you’ll remember that they sing, “We're here for a good time, Not a long time, So have a good time, The sun can't shine every day.” 55 years is not a long time, but Mavis in those 55 years always worked to have the best time with the time she had.
There’s a little more to what Jesus said when He said, “work … while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” The full quote from Jesus is, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” God the Father, “being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,” sent us His one and only Son Jesus, and it is God the Father who gives you your work to do in your life. For over 11 years Mavis has been on the Education committee at Mount Olive as long as I’ve been here; she’s sat on Church council and watched over, and guided, the Christian education of hundreds of children who have walked through these doors. That is certainly the kind of work that Jesus is talking about but don’t sell God the Father short on what kind of work He gives for us to do in Christ Jesus His Son while the sun is shining. God the Father also gave Mavis the work of wife to Kevin and mother to Ashley, Amber and Kyle and in these last years the work of grandmother to Kylie and Lux. She cared for you, loved you, she made the most of all the days she was given. She kept a warm and beautiful home while she also cleaned the homes of others. She did all of this without desiring praise for her work regularly putting others before herself in her work. She didn’t know how long she had, none of us do, and even when she was first diagnosed with cancer around 5 years ago she kept doing the work that was laid out for her to do, as she was able to do it, always desiring to have a good time even when the times were overcast. Mavis was able to do this the way she did because she had the gift of faith and God gave her the faith she needed for the days she had.
This past week the clouds have rolled in and the darkness and the rain of grief and loss have begun to pour and cover the days and nights. There is still work to be done but we fumble in the dark to do it. This my friends is when faith in Christ Jesus is a gift beyond measure. Jesus says of Himself, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus knows what darkness is, in the Gospel of John we hear how, “The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.” And so it has always been, and yet Jesus comes to you today and in His Word He says to you, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” Mavis knew this, she trusted this, she prayed with us on her deathbed faithful waiting for Jesus to take her to Himself and that is where she is now. This promise is not for Mavis only it is for you and for your children. Mavis new that no matter how dark it got, no matter how much rain might fall on the city, that Jesus was her Sunshine and as Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Jesus who knew no sin, who never sinned not even once, who was innocent of every evil, and good through and through, died in the dark, abandoned by almost everyone that He loved, save for His mother Mary, His disciple Saint John and a couple of the women who had followed Him through His public ministry. Jesus died hanging naked and beaten, busted up, upon a cross meant for criminals with people hurling insults and curses at Him: It was the most unfair death. It was a dark death, the darkest death, and yet the darkness of that death has not overcome Jesus. On the first Easter morning The Light of the world burst forth from the tomb bring the Light of Life to a world covered in the darkness of death. Jesus walked out of the grave on His own two feet never to die again; “death no longer has dominion over Him.” Christ Jesus knows death, He experienced it personally, it’s cold bite, its sting, and Death is not a friend, Death is not natural, Death is an enemy, Death and all its horrors, cancer being one of them, is evidence that there is something fundamentally wrong in the world. And you can hate death, you can hate it with every fiber of your being, and you can be furious with cancer for they are evil things and they have no love for you. Jesus on the other hand loves you and today He says to you, “I am the resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die [and Jesus asks you today,] Do you believe this?”
In baptism Mavis’ life has been hidden away in Christ Jesus and Mavis’ life is hidden away in Jesus today and until The Day of His appearing when He will return in glory on The Last Day. Six days after she was born Mavis was baptised, and on that day she was given the gift of faith by the working of the Holy Spirit, faith in Jesus the Light of Life, faith that brought His sunshine into your life every day that you had with her. His Light shone in the work she accomplished in Him, work that made your life a good life, a good time. The sun might not shine everyday yet in Christ Jesus you can share the Sunshine of His light in the deepest darkness. Even in the darkness of death.
Dear ones there is a good time coming, a good time coming where the Son will shine every day, where the rainy city of this world will be made new, and this coming “[new] city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it [in the way we experience it now], for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is [Christ Jesus the Light of Life, the very] Lamb [of God who takes away the sin of the world].” In that place the dark “night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and [together with Jesus the faithful] will reign forever and ever.” This is the promised place that Jesus goes to prepare, the place He prepared for us at the cross, taking what is unfair and making it right, what is dark and making it light, taking the bad times and making good times eternally, for a long time, forever. However much time we have here is short by comparison to the time we will have there in Christ Jesus.
On The Day of His appearing His return on The Last Day, Jesus will “make all things new,” “He will wipe away every tear from [your] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Which means death will pass away and cancer with it, and every illness and every trouble. But dear ones listen very carefuly Mavis has not passed away, her cancer has passed away, she is alive in Christ Jesus just as He promises and she is dancing with the angles. Now is the time to begin to look forward to the time when you are all together again, to the happy reunion which will come when Jesus comes and takes you to Himself and there in Him you will be with Mavis again. Remember what Jesus says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
So take Mavis’ lead, take her example, as you go about the rest of your days, no matter how long a time that is, or how short a time it is, and “work the works [that God the Father has laid out for you to do in Christ Jesus] while it is day” and bring the sunshine of Jesus into the lives of the people that God has put in your life, whether they be at home in your family, with your friends, or in your work that you do, whether you’re drilling wells or cleaning houses, or making deliveries, or caring for those in need the young the disabled, or whatever work you’ve been given to do, put them first and maybe next time someone asks, “what do you want to do?” say, “I don’t know what do you want to do?,” “were do you want to go to eat?” “I don’t know where do you want to eat?” and then together have a good time, have a good time together until we arrive at The Day of Christ Jesus when He will shine like the Sun in the Good Time that will never end. 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.
 John 9:4
 Ephesians 2:4
 John 8:12
 John 1:9–11
 John 14:1–3
 John 1:5
 Romans 6:9
 John 11:25–26
 Colossians 3:1–4, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
 Revelation 21:23
 Revelation 22:5
 Revelation 21:5
 Revelation 21:4