We are gathered here today to pay tribute to our dear sister in Christ. We know that for all of us this is a time of sorrow—but it is a time of sorrow mixed with joy. It’s a time of sorrow because:
We realize that for a time we will not be able to see our loved one. Sorrow because of a touch that will not be felt. Sorrow because of a smile that will not be seen. Sorrow because of a laugh that will not be heard. Sorrow because of a voice that no longer beckons us near. Sorrow because of a love that will be remembered, but not experienced firsthand. Yes, there is sorrow in this time of death—but there is also great joy.
There is great joy today because: the woman we honor is a Christian. Joy because she had turned her life over to the Lord. Joy because she had been bathed in the blood of the Lamb. Joy because she made the decision to embrace the cross of Calvary. Joy because through the power of the resurrection she now dwells in an eternal home promised to her by Jesus Christ our Lord.
And we have joy in knowing that our dear sister in Christ now spends her days where every tear is wiped away; where there is no longer any death, or mourning or crying or pain. We can have joy in knowing that she is home.
1. HER DEAREST ONES ARE THERE
Many of her dear one’s are still here with us. But although those whom she has loved on earth aren’t with her now, that doesn’t mean that she’s alone.
1) God is there. He has called her home and was waiting for her with open arms. Can you imagine the joy of finally being in the presence of the One who created the universe? The joy of hearing the voice of the One who commanded the light to be separated from the darkness saying, “Welcome Home”? The joy of experiencing the presence of One who is all-powerful; all-knowing; and in all-places at all times? The joy of being with the One who calls Himself “I Am”?
2) Jesus is there. He bid her welcome into His eternal Kingdom. Oh, what joy to see the One who shed His blood on Calvary so that all who have surrendered their lives to Him could enter into this place of perfection. To touch the hands and feet that were pierced for the sins of the world. To be so close to the One who gave His life, so that we could have eternal life.
3) The Saints are there. All of the Christians who left this earth before her are there with her now. Christian friends who she has grieved over because she no longer had their fellowship—they are there. That fellowship has been renewed now. The Saints who have gone before are there and can welcome her home.
2. SHE BELONGS THERE
The Bible teaches us that this present world is not the real home of the Christian. Peter begins his first letter by addressing the Christians as “strangers” in this world. Again in 1 Peter 2:11 he addresses the believers in the same way—as “aliens and pilgrims” in the world.
Christians who live on this earth do not really belong here. We are here for a temporary purpose—to glorify God—but our true home is in Heaven.
The good news is that our loved one no longer lives as an “alien and stranger” in this world. She is at home with the Lord where she belongs. She is where she was meant to be. She is where God created her to be. She is at a place that can truly be called “home.” She is absent from her body and at home with the Lord.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.—John 14:1–3