Pastor Steve Vaughan's Memorial message (in point form):
What do you say at a time like this?
Acknowledge all the pain and confusion
Acknowledge the premature death of a daughter
I found myself asking
What would Jesus the one who Lisa loved and in whose presence she is now, say to Hal and Marie?
Michelle, Sonya, Tim, too all of us?
What would he do?
How would he handle us?
What could possibly make a difference in this heart wrenching place we find ourselves?
What would he say to a parent whoís child has died?
Where in scripture did Jesus speak to a person who was going to lose or had lost a child?
He did speak to a woman whose child was going to die
A time when miraculous intervention would not come
A time when healing did not happen.
It was as he himself was about to die
He talked to his mom
Yes He spoke to his Father in heaven, but he also spoke to his earthly mother
Can you imagine Mary His mother the one who had reared him, nurtured him, taught him, ached for him loved him with all she had, at the foot of the cross as her son was in the process of dying?
Can you imagine the heart of this dear woman?
Whatís going to happen to me she must have wondered
Thatís the question we ask ourselves right now isnít it?
How am I going to be?
How will I cope?
What will I do?
What will calm my heart?
What will I do tomorrow without this one I love so much?
Is it possible for me to be ok?
Maybe more here
Do I have hope???
Jesus got to the heart of what Mary needed as he spoke to her and his close earthly friend John
John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
Words of protection words of provision words to Maryís heart, a heart in agony despair, fear, anxiousness, WORDS OF HOPE
Jesus spoke the words that met Maryís immediate need
For a woman in her situation, Her husband likely not living, where would she go?
No one to care for her
Her oldest son whose responsibility it was to care for her was going to die
In those few words, she was provided for
This aching mom who was losing her child was being taken care of
Yes her heart would be wrenched for some time, there would be a hole left where her son belonged, all of that
But her immediate need, the things of life and death were taken care of
Here is your son, here is your mother,
What are the words to us?
What are the words of provision that meet us where our hearts are?
What are his words, to the hurting yes, maybe fearful, anxious, despairing heart, now, here today
John 11:25-26 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
2 Corinthians 5:1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
John 14:1-3 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; ...
.. his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
I lift up my eyes to the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord
Are not these words of provision for our hearts, promises of comfort???
Are these not words that give us hope?
We could spend the whole afternoon reading from his word, the words of provision, the words of hope.
These are truths that give us a picture of the God who will bring you through, bring us through these difficult weeks and months ahead
How would we be if there was nothing?
How hopeless, how awful, would we not say, "why bother?"
The question now is, are these words true?
How can we be sure?
How can we be sure they are not just words?
Fast forward 3 days from that scene at the cross
Mary in her hopelessness is going to the grave of the one she loves
Still in shock over what has happened
Heart still aching terribly, the world not making any sense to her
Most likely exhausted from the hardness of grieving the death of her friend and teacher Jesus, now dead 3 days
Just doing what she believes is right to do for one who has died
Going to anoint the body of Jesus
Finds the grave empty, alerts the apostles, and then she is alone at the grave
Has an encounter with 2 angels
She is crying agony heaped on her sorrow, the body of Jesus is missing
She voices her anguish
And then turns, and there is Jesus, didnít realise it was him
Jesus asks her what the problem is
She tells him
And then in one word it all comes together
Everything Jesus had taught
Every promise he had spoken
All the truth about his death and resurrection
In that one word, all of these words of hope and provision become truth to her
In this one word all her anxiety and fear and hopelessness is gone
This word connected at the point of all her questions
The risen one says her name
Her lord speaks to her again
The one who was dead talks to her
The word penetrates her mind her heart her soul
In that one word her whole life is changed, it is turned on itís head
The ultimate in provision
The Lord creator, and saviour taking her name on his lips
The ultimate in hope
In that one word He declares who he is and what he can offer
He declares in that one word that he does have power over death, that there is life after death and that everything he has spoken is true
I imagine a smile on his face
He knows it is going to mess with her mind
I mean can you imagine
Jesus, the saviour called Lisaís, name
At the time she entered into her personal relationship with him
She heard him say Lisa
And in that one word received all the provision she would ever need even through all she has endured
All the hope she could imagine needing was transferred to her in that moment
And she has heard that word again
Lisa, well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord
Isnít that wonderful?
Can you imagine any sweeter words that Lisa could hear?
What are his words of hope to us today?
If He has called your name like He did Lisaís then everything we have talked about today is yours. What hope. What provision
Everything we need to live until we are reunited with Lisa
I believe Lisa was concerned that all who knew her have heard their name called by Christ
Just like Lisa heard
So that all the promises we just heard would be theirs
That everyone she knew would have those words of provision of Hope
And that all would one day hear those words again as their saviour spoke
"Well done, good and faithful servant;: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Please stay for the lunch.
Lisa was the type of person who would have us get to know each other, encourage one another and enjoy being together. Hal and Marie would very much appreciate sharing this next little while with all of you. Lunch served right through those doors and the coffee and tea are beyond, in the hall. Thank you.
Benediction/closing words and prayer
2 Timothy 4:6-8 ... the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day ...
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