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Funeral Sermon

Revelation 7:9-17

Rev. Andrew Eckert

St. Paul's Lutheran Church  
Wellston, Oklahoma

Wed, Oct 8, 2008
Wed of 21st Sunday after Pentecost

We are gathered here as the family and friends of this saint, Alene, who has passed into glory.  We are here in this House to hear our Father's Word of comfort, and to pray for His aid, and give thanks for His blessings.

As I speak about this sister, I want to say the best possible words.  We Christians ought to know that the best words are not human words at all, but the Divine Words of Christ.  Human words cannot give true comfort against death.  But Christ's Word defeats death for all time.

Therefore, these are the words about Alene from her Savior, who is her Shepherd.

Right now, at this moment, He is shining His face upon her, and she is gazing with immeasurable joy at His glory.  She has never experienced such perfect, pure joy as she is feeling now.  She is standing beside angels and archangels and saints and apostles and prophets, in the majestic presence of the mighty Lord of Heaven.  It is the same scene that Saint John saw in Revelation chapter seven.  We cannot imagine how wonderful it is for Alene right now.

How did she get there?  How did she deserve to enter the wonderful presence of God in heaven?  She did not get there because she was good enough.  No one is good enough to enter the infinite happiness of Paradise.  Was she loving enough, or did she do enough good works?  No.  Although we fondly remember her kindness in this life, that was not the way that she entered the presence of God.

She is now standing before the Throne of her heavenly Father because she was wearing the right dress.  This was not one of the dresses she made with her own hands.  This is a spiritual dress.  At first, when she began her life, her spiritual dress was dirty and stained by sin.  She could not enter heaven dressed that way.

Therefore, Christ her Lord washed her dress in His Blood.  His death on the Cross cleansed Alene's life completely.  The filth of sin was completely removed, so that she was covered by the bright, shining holiness of Christ, whiter than the strongest bleach can make.  She is glorious now like the stars and the angels of heaven.

She was already just as glorious, even in this life, only her righteousness was hidden.  No eye could see how beautifully Christ had dressed His precious saint, as He also dresses all his saints on earth in His glory.

So Christ was able to present Alene to heaven radiant, without any stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, because He Himself cleansed her by the washing with water through the Word.  That was how He delivered to her the benefits of His Cross, so that she became forever holy and blameless, and fit for heaven.

Christ also fed her with the holy food and drink of His own Table, which is His Body and Blood.  This food and drink of God is the New Testament, and the promise and foretaste of the neverending feast in the New Heaven and the New Earth.  For God's promise is not merely that He would take home Alene's spirit while her body sleeps.  The even greater promise is that He will raise up this same body to life.  He will raise her to perfect life where she will neither hunger nor thirst.  No disease, no weakness, no cancer, no death, not even the least sorrow will trouble her heart.

Christ the Lamb has done this, by giving His life as the sacrifice for Alene.  He alone shed His precious Blood to pay the price for her.  He alone was raised as the pledge and promise of her own resurrection.

Therefore, all praise and glory and thanks and honor be to God alone and to the Lamb, forever and ever.  Amen.

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