Mike Hort Funeral Sermon - Romans 8; John 14; Psalm 23 / November 15th 2022 / Fixed by Christ
Text: Romans 8; John 14
Theme: Fixed by Christ
Intr – There’s a saying I heard many times in my life offered usually when people are facing hard times. “Be strong, for there is a solution for everything in life. The only thing there’s no solution for is death”. In face of great difficulties, the idea conveyed here is that you should maintain hope, for mostly everything in life can be fixed, except death. It is death that would have the last word.
That would have a connection with one aspect of Mike’s life. I’ve learned from family witness that among other features of his personality, he was “Mr. Fix everything.” He would fix anything that needed to be fixed. But death was the only thing he couldn’t fix. He was not able to fix the respiratory failure which eventually led him to his last day on earth a couple of weeks ago.
Now, the first part of the sentence may ring true. There may be a solution for everything in life. It is possible that everything can be fixed in one way or the other, even when acceptance of a situation is how we fix it, at least in our minds and hearts. The second part of it however, it is not true at all. “The only thing we have no solution for is death. It has the last word.” As Christians, we know that is wrong. Death has been fixed already. Or better said, death has been killed, and life has triumphed. Death may have the fore last word. The last word though, is life.
We know this from many Biblical passages, including today’s Gospel. There we heard Jesus saying to his disciples: “I am the way, the truth and the Life”. He is the one who, through his death by crucifixion on a Friday morning has killed death’s power and has provided the way through which life is our reality. By faith, we have Life with Him in our life here. And we have Life with Him in our life after life here. For there is life before and after death.
Sin is the cause of death. And the cause of death was defeated on Jesus’ Cross. He won forgiveness of sins for all. We receive that forgiveness through faith, and that faith Mike confessed in his life. That means death was fixed for him too.
Sin, in which we all were born, is still present in our flesh, but is not the final word anymore. Life is. We are in Christ. We are covered by God’s love. From this Love nothing can separate us. This is what Paul says in Romans 8: nothing will be able to separate is from the love of God. By faith we are connected to Him, and thus, connected to life.
At the beginning of the reading, he says that all things work together for those who are called to faith in Christ. This acknowledges that problems or sorrows will still be part of our life, but that even in those things God is always working for our good. For, as he boldly asks and states at the same time, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Then chapter 8 culminates with his declaration: nothing in the entire universe is able to separate us from the most important thing there is: from the love of God, which is ours through Jesus Christ. This places death in a different light. It is still hard, still something unwanted, unwelcome, and still brings us sad moments, days, even years. However, it is a separation that is temporary. The promise that we have in Him is that when we die in faith, we will raise for life eternal.
While we are still in this valley of the shadow of death, as Psalm 23 puts it, grieving the passing of a loved one, we have his promises that He is our Shepherd. He gives us green pastures and still waters. He walks with us, leads us. And the beautiful last verse: “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. It doesn’t say “some days”, “many days”, “every other year” or “there are some exceptions though”. Each and every day lived under the shadow of His wings in faith assures us that there is nothing that is able to separate us from him. Not even death.
Cc – Dear family and friends, respiratory failure was what ultimately caused Mike’s passing. Now in Christ we have the assurance that this will also be fixed. On the last day, when we will all resurrect, our bodies will be perfect. No more lung failure, heart problems, diseases, or stresses of any kind. The Holy Spirit, which Jesus says “blows everywhere” will breathe life into us and we will be with Jesus and our loved ones forever. For there’s solution for everything in life. Including death. Jesus. Amen.