Chuck Barrett Funeral (John 5)
- Order of Service: Funeral Service
- Hymns: LSB #464, 727, 461; “Beyond the Sunset”
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:19-29)
Karen, David, Lance and Judith, Gina and Larry, Julie and Lenny, and all who mourn Chuck's death, grace, mercy and peace are yours from God our Father through His resurrected Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)
It has been a long struggle, but the struggle is finally over. And while the end of the struggle is sad, we rejoice because of the resurrection of the dead. Jesus tells His disciples that those who listen to His Word, like Chuck did, will be raised from their graves to live with Him forever. The promise of your own Easter resurrection gives you peace.
Peace because whoever hears Jesus' Word has eternal life. This is what Jesus says a few verses after our text, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me.” The Scriptures contain eternal life because it testifies to Jesus as the Life. His Word gives life, just as He created life in the beginning through His Word. When Jesus speaks, things happen. Ultimately, when Jesus speaks, faith happens. As it did with Chuck. As it does with you. Even as you sit here and listen this morning. Jesus is speaking His life-giving Word.
Those who hear Him pass from death to life. We spoke of this at the beginning of the service. Those who have been baptized into Christ's death and resurrection have passed from death to life. Everlasting life in Christ. Death has no more dominion over Jesus. It has no more dominion over those who have been baptized into Him. Therefore, it has no dominion over you. Because of Christ, you can look to your own death with confidence because it will be just a nap. A nap where you will wake up in your heavenly Father's presence. This is the peace that passes all understanding. The peace you have as a child of God.
Maybe there is someone here today who doesn't have this peace. That is worried about what will happen to them when they die. What comfort they will have in their last hour. The hour to listen and hear is right now. Jesus is calling everyone to faith. Death is the one reality you can't avoid. “The wages of sin is death.” You can't help but sin because you are a sinner. You are corrupted by the original sin you inherited from Adam and Eve. So corrupted that your funeral has been certain since the day you were conceived. It is only a matter of time.
For every person in here, that time is short. For many, there are many fewer days ahead than there are behind. Therefore Jesus says, “An hour is coming, and is now here … and those who hear will live.” Live not just in this world, but live eternally in the world to come. Where there will be no sin, no sorrow, no suffering. Only faith, hope and love. “These three remain, but the greatest of these is love.” The love of a resurrected Savior who will call you from the grave when He returns. This love forgives you all your sins. Washes them away in the flood of Baptism. Calls you out of this world to live before God in righteousness, innocence and blessedness forever. Ultimately, it will call you out of your grave for good or for ill. For those who have listened, like Chuck, that voice will say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” For those who refuse to listen, that voice will say, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” It's not prepared for you. Christ's Kingdom is prepared for you. And has been since the foundation of the world. Where Chuck waits with all the saints who have gone before. Where he waits with Christ for the Last Day where all will rise from their graves and be restored to the glory God created us to have.
Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Amen.