Curt Schmidt Funeral (Matthew 6)
- Order of Service: Funeral Service
- Hymns: LSB #744, 727, 801
25 [Jesus said:] "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall you eat?' or 'What shall you drink?' or 'What shall you wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Darlene, Nancy and Gary, Terry and Natalie, Garry and Kelli, Karen, and everyone who knew and loved Curt, grace to you and peace from God your Father through His crucified and resurrected Son, Jesus Christ your Lord. Amen.
This past year has been filled with anxiety. A year of uncertainty. A year that has proven it is better to know what is wrong than to know that something is wrong.
Jesus tells you not to be anxious. But how can you not be anxious when you don't know what's wrong?
Jesus tells you what's wrong. Sin. Sin has caused every one of your problems. Sin causes you to be anxious. Sin causes you not to trust that God is in control. Sin gives you the impulse to wrestle away control from God because He is not doing it the way you would like. Because He is not doing it on your time frame. Because He doesn't really care about you.
But Jesus shows you that God does care for you. He cares about every little detail. Jesus points to birds and grass. Insignificant things. But God takes care of the insignificant. He provides food for birds that will be hunted in two months. He provides for the grass that will be mowed tomorrow and thrown into the fire. If God faithfully provides for these things, why are you anxious that He won't take care of you?
It's your sinfulness. Sinfulness takes many forms. Forms that are common yet uncertain. Like illnesses that seem to change with every passing day. Sin finds new ways to blindside you to keep your eyes off Jesus. To keep you from seeking God's kingdom. To keep you from God's righteousness. Sin only confounds you and shows your helplessness.
But God is most active in your helplessness. Just as with the birds and the grass. They have no barns. They plant no fields. But God feeds them in their helplessness. They aren't anxious about their future because God takes care of them.
God takes care of you in the same way. You are helpless against your sin. You can't help but sin because you are a sinner. A sinner who shuns God at times by your anxiety.
Your sin is so great that it has created a great gulf between you and God. It is so large that no human can go from one side to the other. You are completely trapped on this side. Only Jesus could cross the gulf. God the Son took on human flesh. Flesh that had no sin. But flesh that became sin. Jesus was stricken, smitten and afflicted for the forgiveness of your sins. Only God could bridge the gulf created by sin. His bridge on the cross is the answer to your anxiety.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus' cross shapes God's kingdom. God has no kingdom where His Son doesn't die for you. He has no righteousness except Jesus' death and resurrection. He takes away your anxiety. He lifts you up on eagles' wings as God lifted Israel through the Red Sea, while drowning the pursuing Egyptians. Giving you salvation while drowning your sin in Baptism.
On God's eagles' wings, there is no anxiety. Only faith. Faith in His promises. Promises which come to you today as you mourn and grieve. But you grieve without anxiety. You are anxious no more because God has called Curt to be with Him in Heaven. He has no more pain or sorrow. God has wiped away all his tears. God has promised you a glorious reunion with all those who have preceded you into His heavenly realm.
You are anxious no more because you have faith in Christ. You have faith in a God who clothes the lilies of the field more glorious than Solomon in his great wealth. This same God clothed you with His own righteousness in the waters of Baptism. He took away your anxiety by promising to take care of you. Sometimes this care comes as miraculous healing is given. Other times this care comes when the heavenly gates open for a Christian taking their final breath. Neither gives us reason for anxiety.
“Do not be anxious about your life.” Your life and your death are in God's hand. “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” No one. God is in control. He has lifted you up so that you have no anxiety. You live for Him because He has given you your life.
Curt has no more anxiety. He is with Jesus. He no longer worries about tomorrow because He is in eternity today. He wants you to no longer worry because He is in eternity today. Grieve but do not be anxious. The same God who has called Curt to Himself will one day call you to Himself. The joy that awaits you gives you reason to be anxious no more. Amen.