Funeral Sermon

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Funeral Sermon

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)

From the passage of scripture, life seems to be a mixture of good and bad, love and hatred, joy and sorrow, life and death. Things seem to go well for us at one moment, then somehow in the next moment it is matched by an equal amounts of misfortune. If this is all there was to life it would seem like an unending roller coaster.

Yet later in the same chapter we find these words. “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put eternity in their hearts... I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken away.” Verse 11.

If somehow we could get off the roller coaster of life for a moment, if somehow we could step back and view the whole picture, then we may have the proper perspective of life. Notice what the verse has said, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” Everything within its time will be beautiful.

Why should we doubt this, consider a seed as an example. The seed may seem dry and ugly, a shriveled and lifeless thing. Yet, the seed does contain within itself all the beauty of the flower. In the order of things, the seed puts forth a shoot, the shoot becomes the plant, the plant bears a bud, and the bud breaks open into glorious blossom. And God smiles on it because it has become beautiful in its time.

Or what of the beauty we see around us throughout the year. In springtime the warm sun makes us forget the discomforts of winter. Flowers appear, and fruit trees adorn themselves with blossoms. The rains come and turn everything green.

Then the season move on and after a warm summer we move into autumn. The trees dress themselves in scarlet and gold Harvest time is upon us. And we see and hear a long line of geese honk as fly by.

Next we know the trees are bare except they wear a diamond necklace of ice. And when the sun shines through it we can see all the colors of spectrum as a miniature rainbow. Who can doubt that God makes all things beautiful in their time.

Some may object that I have been speaking about ideals and not reality. Not all flowers are beautiful and some seeds never grow. Many lives have been twisted and warped until some can see no beauty at all. But we can not overlook one fact. One day, long ago, an ugly cross was raised on the outskirts of an ancient city. The body of a young prophet who had been stripped and beaten was placed on that cross. A crown of thorns was crushed down upon his head. A sign was placed above him - king of the Jews. Could anything change such a scene into a thing of beauty?

The body of this prophet was place in a grave. As a seed is placed into the ground. Three days later that prophet rose from the grave - never to see death again. God had taken an ugly and horrible thing - an execution, a crucifixion and had changed it into a thing of beauty. It’s called a resurrection. Because he is alive. And because of this fact I can believe that God makes all things beautiful in their time.

If we have faith we too can have hope. For you see if God can raise Jesus from the tomb, we too can be raised also.

Let us pray.

Our Father, in the moment of sorrow we confess our lack of understanding. Your way are so far above ours, and we cannot see the big picture. Remind us of your power and your love. Give us faith to trust beyond our sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Ame

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