Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford
Sermon for Sunday 13th June 2021
This Sermon is an adaptation to remember all whom died since the beginning of Covid-19 especially those whom, were part of our congregation and whose Farewell we were unable to be present at.
Preaching of the Word
I heard it told that a person was described during their funeral as being loyal to his Lord and consistent in his adherence to the high standard of morals which he had chosen as the guiding principle of his life. There are a number of people I have met that this could be applied to from amongst our congregation and especially those who have died during the time we have been dealing with Covid-19.
I read a story about a man who one day went to visit an old musician. He knocked on the musician’s door and said, “What’s the good word today?” The old musician didn’t say a word. He turned around and went back across the room to where a tuning fork was hanging. He took a hammer and struck the tuning fork so that the note resounded through the room. The musician said, “That, my friend is an ‘A’. It was ‘A’ yesterday. It was ‘A’ five thousand years ago, and it will be ‘A’ 5000 years from now.” Then he added, “The tenor across the hall sings off key. The soprano upstairs is flat on her high notes. And the piano in the next room is out of tune. He struck the tuning fork again and said, “That is ‘A” and that my friend is the good word for today.”
In the conversations I had with these people we have lost; it seems as though their good word for most days was “blessed.” People had felt blessed by their children, they had felt blessed by their grandchildren, they had felt blessed by their God and their church, and if you were to get at the heart of their feelings about being blessed, you would quickly have gotten to the truths of God’s words to us. Truths that were, are, and always will be the same. Specifically, the truth that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.
The truth that Jesus Christ lived the perfect life was for a number of those in our congregation whom we have lost what they strove to live to. Over the past year or so, God sent angels to carry a number of our members souls, to carry really their spirit into the very presence of Jesus Christ. That, my friends, is the good word for today.
Faced with death, life might seem absurd and meaningless. But our Christian faith tells us that despite death life is not absurd and meaningless. Life for each of us took on a completely different meaning when our parents decided to have us baptised.
When we were baptised, we were no longer mere humans, but became adopted sons and daughters of God. When we were baptised, this planet was no longer our home, then heaven became our true homeland. When we were baptised, we were no longer on our own, when we were baptised, we were joined with Jesus in leaving behind an old life and beginning a new life.
When Jesus died, he left his old life behind him. He rose from the dead, having left behind life in a human body like ours. When we were baptised, we joined Jesus in his dying, leaving behind our old self, and we joined Jesus in his resurrection, becoming new persons. When we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised, we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the God’s glory, we too might live a new life.
In every Communion we remember that we share in Jesus’ death and resurrection, for example “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life...”. “Lord by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world.”
Because our entire life is living out our baptism, because we want to live our entire lives in such a way that our baptism has a lasting effect on our lives, we are continually trying to leave behind sin and selfishness to become better people.
When we respond at each moment of our lives to the call of God, we prepare ourselves to enter into the Lord’s rest; As baptised we try to be aware of the presence of God in each moment of our lives, like the sunflower that keeps following the sun all day long. God is not just at the end of our life, waiting for us there; God is with us at every moment of our lives. However, in the final moment of our lives, we will see God’s love and everlasting light.