Funeral of Selma Crome (Jn 14, 1–6, 27)

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᛭ INI ᛭

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

“Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch: Wer mein Wort hört und glaubt dem, der mich gesandt hat, der hat das ewige Leben und kommt nicht in das Gericht, sondern er ist vom Tode zum Leben hindurchgedrungen.”

Those are the words of Jesus as Selma heard them at her confirmation on April 14, 1935. They’re the words of John 5:24. “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.” These words of promise are the exact same words of promise we hear today from John 14. That is, they mean the same exact thing.

John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.”

John 14: “Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

We find comfort in these Words. Not just today. But everyday. Jesus is making a promise. It’s for all of us. It’s for Selma. It’s an eternal promise.

JESUS WILL COME AGAIN AND TAKE YOU TO HIMSELF.

((I. There is a worldly peace we can enjoy.))

But before we rejoice fully in that promise. There’s another good gift we also get to rejoice in. At the end of our reading we heard Jesus say: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

”Not as the world gives do I give to you.” is what Jesus says. Sure I could talk about how the world gives peace that doesn’t last. But the truth is, as God’s baptized children, we can rightly use the peace of this world. We can enjoy this life. Receive it as a gift. The world’s peace comes up short when it’s the be-all end-all of existence.

We enjoy the peace that comes from God our heavenly Father. He wants us to live “quiet and peaceful lives.” He blesses us with strength. He blesses us by gifting us with being able to enjoy the fruits of our labors. He blesses us with seeing our children and our children’s children. Selma enjoyed these 1st Article gifts of creation. In fact, she lived to see her children’s children to the 4th generation! Great-great-grandchildren!

These really are good gifts to be enjoyed. They have their time, and Selma had a long time of receiving, and giving—joy either way—of all these gifts. All from the Lord: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations,” as Moses says. As much as we can have peace and joy in these gifts, they have their time and place. This life. A full life does make for a good life, but Jesus’ empty tomb makes for an even better life. Eternal life!

((II. Jesus breaks in with His peace that’s beyond understanding.))

And that’s what Jesus comes to do. He breaks in with His peace that’s beyond human understanding. God sends His Son on Christmas because today was unacceptable to Him. This casket. Unacceptable. That grave. Unacceptable.

So, Jesus is born. Silent night. Holy night. Jesus then lives perfectly for you, for Selma, for all of us, and then He goes to His silent, holy cross, and to His silent, holy grave. He comes back to life, ascends into heaven, and now we get back that great promise:

JESUS WILL COME AGAIN AND TAKE YOU TO HIMSELF.

He came back to life. He’s the sort of God who keeps His and His Father’s promises. He goes to prepare that place. Prepared it for Selma. Prepared it for you. And, as He says, “If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself that where I am you may be also.”

That is a promise He makes good on each and every time He comes to us with His word. “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.” He comes again and again to take your heart, your sins, your worries, your pains to Himself, and to give you His peace.

The peace of His manger, His cross, His empty tomb. Delivered to you in the peace of His font. The peace of His Word. The peace of His Absolution. The peace of His body and blood. In all these ways Jesus is coming to you, prepping not only the place He has for you, but to prepare you for that place. To forgive you. Make you holy. Make you all the more His.

Selma is His. You are, too. Both right now. But in different ways. But one day it will be even better. That promise is the next verse after Selma’s confirmation verse “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” That day will come and the Lord’s promise in John 5:24, John 5:25, and John 14:3 will all be one. We’ll all come back to life—be raised—and live forever with Jesus.

((Conclusion.))

So much good to rejoice in for Selma. But most of all it’s the good that we share with her. The peace, the comfort, the Jesus we share.

He’s gotten everything ready. Born, died, risen, ascended. All for you. He’s getting you ready, too. Water, Words, Body and blood. Soon, He’ll be back. One Day. That’ll be good day.

JESUS WILL COME AGAIN AND TAKE YOU TO HIMSELF.

Yes, He most certainly will. Has to because

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

᛭ INI ᛭

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