Short Sermon For A Funeral

A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating the life of a deceased person, especially one with religious significance. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from the funeral itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor.

Funerals if you’re not used to them can get a bit overwhelming. You really have no idea what is expected of you and you wonder “what should I wear?” I’ve been to my fair share of funerals and have found that the best way to get through it was just go and do it! Yes, it’s hard (Okay, like made me cry hard). But we have to remember that despite how unapproachable this concept may be we have never met because of death but because of a life. There has been an example set for us in Christ. Let’s follow His example and make a memorial service about Him!

As you gather round this morning, ladies and gentlemen, I want to remind you of what a funeral is all about. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of your loved one. But it’s also a time to say goodbye! You’ll hear how much Linda meant to her family and friends. They’ll tell you how much they loved her and spoke of stories from their friendship that have brought them joy. Her spirit will be remembered not only for its strength but also for the smile on her face during better and worse times.

Fortunately, God will grant those who die in Christ a new bodily resurrection with the hope of eternal life! We are assured that our beloved deceased ones are resting in the presence of God’s love and praise. If after death comes the judgment, we have no more doubt that our dead brothers and sisters experience now a full happy life. What could be more comforting to us than this hope?

Short Sermon For A Funeral

As we plan for and prepare our weeks, rarely do we plan for a funeral service to take place. These are unexpected events that can happen during slow or busy seasons. And when someone does lose their life, you will not only have the necessity to plan for your Sunday sermon, but also a funeral sermon to deliver at the service. The reality is, when someone loses their life, their are a number of people who need to hear a message of hope centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a sad, yet potent reminder of the brevity of life, and an opportunity for hearts and minds to focus in on Jesus Christ. These funeral sermons can help you as you prepare for the times when you will be called upon to share the Good News of Christ at a funeral where loss and heartache are present.

Short Sermon For A Funeral

John 14:1-6

“What God creates God loves, and what God loves God loves everlastingly.”

I hope you will listen closely to those words, cling to them, and let them sink deeply into your life and into your heart. Let them echo through this day and carry you into the next. They are the thread that runs through everything I will say to you. They speak a truth about Brian and about you. If there is anything that overcomes and sees us through death it is love, a “love stronger than death.”

“What God creates God loves, and what God loves God loves everlastingly.” Those words were true for Brian before he died and they are true for him today. They were true for you before Brian died, they are true for you today, and they will be true for you tomorrow.

While I believe the truth of those words and the strength of God’s love I also know those words do not take away the grief, dry the tears, or answer the questions we bring today.

I think we come here today with two main questions. Our first question is the same one Thomas asks in today’s gospel (John 14:1-6). “How can we know the way?”

How can a parent who outlives his son, a parent who outlives her boy, possibly know the way? We can’t. How can we know the way when a loved one or friend dies and life gives us what we never asked for or wanted? How can we know the way when death shatters our world and nothing makes sense anymore? We can’t. We don’t.

As difficult as this first question is, there is another. I think many of us bring a second question to this day. Some of you may have asked it aloud and others may have struggled with it silently. Why didn’t he tell us?

Why didn’t he tell us he was sick? Why didn’t he give us the opportunity to be there, to help, to love him through this? I don’t think it’s so much a question we are asking Brian but a question we are asking ourselves. It’s a question that comes from a deep and profound grief, a grief that causes us to wonder or believe, “I should have known. I should have seen something. I should have picked up on something he said. If only I had figured it out I could’ve done something. I would’ve said this or done that. I could’ve made a difference.”

I’ve thought a lot about this second question. I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Brian but over the last few weeks I’ve heard stories about him, learned what he was like, and gained more information about how he died and what happened. As I did, I realized that Brian had made a decision. He was intentional about how this would go. This was not unplanned. He had something in his mind and in his heart.

Janice, I gained even more clarity about this when you told me that you all had chosen John 14 for today’s gospel, that story about the many rooms in the Father’s house and Jesus’ promises to prepare a place for us and to be with us in that place. What I have come to believe and understand is that Brian was not depriving anyone of anything. He was not depriving you of helping and loving him through all this; this was his way of helping and loving you through all this. You were the ones in his mind and in his heart. He was saying to you, “I know the way. I am already ok.”

Brian chose a room in the Father’s house over a bed in a hospital. Now that’s someone who knows the way, someone who is ok within himself, someone who knows the many rooms of the Father’s house: rooms of life, healing, light, and love; rooms of hope, mercy and forgiveness; rooms of beauty and generosity. Brian knew what Thomas and we do not. He knew the way and he knew he was ok. Grief has hidden that from us but not from Brian.

Brian did this his way. It was his way of loving and reassuring you. It may not be the way we would choose for ourselves or would have chosen for Brian, but it was his way and we need to trust and honor that.

When I say that Brian did this his way I don’t mean Brian did it his way in the sense of that old Frank Sinatra song. Brian’s way, from everything I can see, was grounded in his love for you, grounded in the everlasting love of God, grounded in the promises of Christ, and grounded in the knowledge that his life was daily being renewed even as his body was dying.

We who remain might be able to name the day or maybe even the hour of his death. Brian, however, never knew the moment of his death. He simply passed from this life to the next life. He knew the way.

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