Today we celebrate the life of Marie Townsend. I never met Marie, but I’ve been told how large a role she has played in this church and her legacy continues to live on. She is survived by her loving family and also the many touched throughout her life.
Celebration may sound strange considering the circumstances, aren’t we here to grieve? Yes I believe grieving plays a central role in celebration. Let me be clear, we grieve the loss of Marie from the lives in which she was a blessing to. We grieve for those who experience great pain of continuing in this sinful world without our loved ones. We cry and shed tears when we reflect. Those sad tears are often accompanied with tears of remembering wonderful moments which are shared. To celebrate is not to ignore the pain of loss but to acknowledge the victory for which we find in Christ Jesus. Those who are faithful usually have a journey filled with ups and downs. You don’t live a long life like her without experiencing ups levels of hardship. She has left behind a testimony of service and faithfulness, especially to her family. The world has changed a lot in her lifetime, but Marie was resilient and steadfast. Marie loved people, and loved her family especially. She will be greatly missed.
Although friends, and her family are grieved by this loss. We recognize the hope in which Marie’s life was a testament to. There is hope in Jesus. Even in this wicked world, we have faith that there is a day coming, where celebration will no longer have any ties to grief, because the world will be rid once and for all of sin. I am, of course referring to our faith in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake loved ones. The grief is cemented in our personal loss, but we celebrate because Maries’s fight is over, and whatever time passes between now and Christ’s soon coming will be only as an instant for Marie who died in Christ. There is HOPE and Comfort in the 2nd coming of Christ Jesus.
I refer you all now to the comforting words found in , starting in verse 13.
The Comfort of Christ’s Coming
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Those of you who are here today remember her for all the wonderful things about her. It’s not that she simply lived so long or the great testimony of her family. It is that in spite of living in a world which has become increasingly wicked and sinful. Her life was one in which was a faithful witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. I know someone here is battling with sin. I know someone here is being overcome with addiction. Someone here may have been unfaithful in their marriage. I am certain there is someone here who desires to be rescued from their life which has been marked by sin. I have good news. The same God who Marie lived for and died in, loves you, desires you, and has a unique plan for you. He is calling you. Don’t you know He is coming again. Don’t you know there is a rescue mission to save God’s people. Don’t you want to meet a loving savior. The savior in which Marie has found rest in. If you are the person I am describing. Pray and ask God to lead you. Find someone in this church or another to help you. You are not alone. Your life can be that of a faithful and overcoming witness, just like our precious Marie. Don’t wait another day or moment to begin living your life for Jesus.