What Funeral Remarks Do
I dislike and I like funerals. I dislike the loss of a life and the pain and sorrow that accompanies the death and burial of a dear family member or friend. But there are things that I like about funerals as well. One of the things I like are the reminders of what is really important about life and living. Yesterday Cindie and I had the privilege of being at a funeral. The remarks of three granddaughters, a son, and a son-in-law were all helpful. They reminded me of the important things and some things that are forever true. One specific reminder that struck me was the perspective we should have every day of our lives. I will close this blog with that reminder.
Why We Know Bobbie
The funeral service Cindie and I attended yesterday was in memory of a dear lady who went home on September 28, 2020. Her obituary starts by saying, “Bobell ‘Bobbie’ Pierce, age 85 of Kiel, trusted Christ with her Salvation as a girl and walked faithfully with her Lord throughout her life until God took her home on Monday, September 28, 2020 at Oak Creek Assisted Living, Kiel.” Bobbie and her husband were some dear people we met and got to know during a couple of visits to her daughter’s home. Kiel isn’t exactly a well-known town in Wisconsin. It is a remote city with about 3,500 residents. The only reason we got to meet her is due to the relationship our daughter has with the family. She married one of Bobbie’s grandchildren. Kiel is two hours from Fitchburg. It is safe to say that we don’t usually drive that far for a funeral, but we are glad we made an exception because the time was well spent.
As is normally the case, there were many wonderful memories shared during the funeral. Bobbie was dearly loved and appreciated by her children, grandchildren, and her friends. Three granddaughters spoke highly of her, but not without a dose of reality. She was a loving mother and grandmother, but she was also a sinner. She needed a Savior who is able to save to the uttermost. Her obituary starts with that important reminder.
I clearly recall hearing Bobbie’s grandchildren say that Bobbie loved her family as individuals. She was willing to sacrifice her own legitimate needs so that she could meet the needs of her family, including her church family. She saw the children as important in her life and spent time with them. Even thought Bobbie was often poor in worldly possessions, she shared what she had. It was also clear that she loved beautiful things. She loved fancy things. But those things weren’t what she treasured. She treasured sharing those beautiful things and was willing to risk broken china and soiled tablecloths to make things special for her family and guests. That was her faithful walk with Jesus.
The Promised Reminder
In the funeral service program, there was a portion called “Remarks from her son-in-law.” Her son-in-law is Pastor Steve Schultz. Steve talked about waking up in the middle of the night. As we get older, I think most of us wake up more frequently at night and sometimes cannot get back to sleep. I have tried to make those times useful and not fret about the loss of sleep. Sometimes I remember to pray for people during those times.
Pastor Steve shared some of the things he prays about and the things he thanks God for during those times when sleep won’t come. He uses the word “HEAVEN” as an acrostic reminder to thank God for some specific aspects of God’s provision for those, like Bobbie, who have a home prepared for them.
HEAVEN as an Acrostic and a Person
The first letter of the word “Heaven” reminds Steve of “Him.” The other letters, in turn, remind him of eternity, ambiance, life (v), everybody and not. Stop for just a minute and consider the “Him” part of the acrostic. Steve reminded us that the real marvel of and highlight of heaven is Jesus. It isn’t the streets of gold, the angels, the banquet, the pearly gates, the quality of life, or family or Saint Peter.
If you have any doubt about this, then you haven’t read John 14, Ephesians 1, Philippians 2, 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation chapter 5. The places to look are probably endless, but Revelation chapters 21-22 are also very encouraging for those who have seen Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. The New Testament scriptures even end with these words: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” Rev. 22:20-21 ESV.
In a future blog I might write about the other letters in heaven. I should probably do it because I need the reminders to thank God for these things when I wake up in the middle of the night. But don’t miss the reality that Heaven is a wonderful place because of Wonderful Savior.
Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
LINK: Bobbie Pierce Obituary