Elsie Meier Funeral (1 John 3)
"See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God" (v1). Elsie knew God as her Father. God called Elsie His daughter. God the Father cannot be the Father without a child. Every baptized believer in Christ is that child. Elsie is that child. In Baptism, Elsie was covered in Christ's righteousness. His death clothed her even more closely than the clothes she wore on her body. Christ's righteousness clothed her soul. Her very being was wrapped up in Christ's righteousness.
Because of this righteousness, Elsie had a God-given hope. A hope that will last for all eternity. She lived her life professing her faith. Faith passed down to her children. Her grandchildren. Her great-grandchildren. Even her great-great-grandchildren. God loved her so much that His love is felt throughout the generations that survive her passing from this vale of sorrows. She showed God's love by loving those children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Loving them with a love like the one that saved her.
God will make us like Jesus. We're not going to be perfect in this life. However, we become more Christlike as we grow in our faith. As we grow in our faith, we learn to "let the peace of God rule in your hearts" (Colossians 3:15). Through God's peace, we learn to be Christlike by being "kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). Christ came to do that. He was kind to you by giving Himself to take away your sins. His tender heart forgives your hardened heart every time you fall flat on your face in sin.
This Sunday, as we celebrate All Saints' Sunday, we'll hear the reading of St. John's vision of God's throne room. He shows us Jesus as He is. He is surrounded by "a great multitude" "arrayed in white robes" "who come out of the great tribulation" (Revelation 7:9-14). Elsie is in that multitude. Her robe has been washed white in the blood of the Lamb. She stands around God's throne, praising Him and waiting for you to join her.
All the saints, both in heaven and on earth, await the day of Christ's appearing. On that Day, what we will become will be made manifest. On that Day, "we shall be like Him." On that Day, "we shall see Him as He is" (v2). Elsie has that privilege now. A privilege that she wishes for each of you this morning. Amen.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, whish surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). Amen.