Roberta Anita ‘Missy’ Natyshak Funeral Sermon - Job 19:23-27 June 24th 2022 / My Redeemer Lives
Roberta Anita ‘Missy’ Natyshak Graveside Funeral Sermon / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Friday June 24th 2022: Season of Pentecost / Job 19:23-27, "My Redeemer Lives"
“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last He will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
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. Dear ones, gathered together to lay Roberta Natyshak to rest, many of the words we heard this afternoon are ancient, old words that have been passed down generation to generation to generation, they don’t come from this Land, or from Europe, but from the Middle East, they come from the heart of that Ancient World. And the words we heard from the book of Job, where Job says, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth,” are some of the oldest words collected up in the Bible and handed down to us through time. They were written down well over 4,000 plus years ago.
The wish of Job, his prayer, that these words of promise would be preserved has been kept by God. These words where Job confesses his faith in the promised Redeemer — who Job trusted that he would see face to face on The Last Day — have come to us so that we can hear them today. 4,000 years ago my ancestors did not know this promised Redeemer, but the Creator was faithful and “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son [Jesus, this Redeemer], born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons,” and so Job was made a son of God by faith even before the Redeemer Jesus came in the flesh and in time more and more people eventually came to know this Redeemer Jesus. This Jesus was destined to suffer, He came in the flesh and after a life of kindness and care for His neighbours He was nailed to the tree of the cross by wicked men even though He didn’t deserve it and all the evil of this broken World was put on Him, He took upon Himself every failure, every terrible thing that has ever been done, even the things I have done that were wrong. With all of this upon Him, this Redeemer, Jesus who was without sin suffered it, innocently suffered it all, to redeem us. Most Europeans didn’t really come to believe this until about 900 years ago most Europeans don’t believe it now, as Jesus says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The thing that’s so interesting about the person of Job that we read about in the Bible is that when you read the whole book of the Bible bearing his name you find how much he also suffered, how everything was taken from him, his sheep and camels, his sons and daughters, his health so much so that his wife said to him, ““Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But [Job] said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” [The Scriptures tell us that] in all this Job did not sin with his lips.” This man Job over 4,000 plus years ago who lived in a Land a World away from us trusted in his Creator even when everything was stacked against him saying “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” He said this when his promised Redeemer was yet a long way off. Crushed by debilitating poor health he still confesses, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”
Roberta faced many challenges in life and in these last years the challenges and suffering she faced in her health grew harder and harder and harder and yet her faith in this same Redeemer Jesus remained, it did not fade or fall away. In the Gospel of John we are told more about this Redeemer Jesus who John by the Great Holy Spirit calls the Word when John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” We are promised in the Scriptures that those “who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” At the end Roberta was not running, she was not walking, and while her body had grown faint her spirit though beaten down by her illness remained and it waited for the LORD. It is the trust of the Christian that the LORD our Creator and God will remember us in our suffering as we wait for our redemption and that Jesus our Redeemer will come to us in the hour of our death to lift us up as on wings like eagles and take us to Himself, “the dust [the body] returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
The Day that Job looked forward to, The Last Day, is yet to come: We with Job look forward to That Day when the sufferings of this life and World are passed away and we are made new; when we are given back our strength, even more than before. For Roberta that wait has changed she is tucked away, hidden away, in Christ Jesus her Redeemer and she now waits in peace until That Day, until The Day of revealing, when she will be reunited once for all with her body. And for us if it takes another 4,000 plus years for That Day to come it makes no difference, we like Roberta and all with faith in Jesus are called to be faithful, faithful when our health is good and everything is going well and faithful when our life is full of suffering and trouble as Psalm 130 says,
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in His word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.”
Dear ones we await the return of our Redeemer, “we await [the] 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.” This transformation of the body will happen for Job and it will happen for Roberta and it will happen for you; and they, and we, will on That Day stand upon the earth, with our feet upon the Land, Roberta will stand with her two feet upon the Land, the Land made new in Christ Jesus. On That Day amputation and cancer will be no more; every organ of the body will work perfectly as the Creator intended and we, with Roberta and all the faithfully departed shall see God with our own eyes.
As we await That Day we imperfectly struggle through our grief and loss, we have our ups and downs, our sadnesses, we will make good and bad choices in how we deal with Roberta’s death. When those choices hurt others or hurt ourselves we are invited to lean on the mercy, forgiveness and love of Jesus trusting the promise that when That Day does finally come God will give us perfect peace, on That Day “He will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” The faithful redeemed by Christ Jesus the promised Redeemer will not have passed away, they will remain in Christ and they will be made new in Him. Over 4,000 plus years ago Job trusted this, Roberta trusted it, trust it for yourself, “for the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” 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 3:8
 Job 1:13-22
 Job 2:7-8
 Job 2:9–10
 Job 1:21
 John 1:1–3
 Isaiah 40:31
 Ecclesiastes 12:7
 Revelation 21:4-5
 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
 Psalm 130:5–6
 Philippians 3:20–21
 Revelation 21:4
 Acts 2:39
Photo Credits: Main Photo provided by the family and Mount Olive Lutheran Church; detail of book of Job in the Bible from pexels; detail of prayer with Bible from unsplash; detail of Jesus Eagle from pexels; detail of Standing on the Land from unsplash