BECAUSE HE LIVES
John 14:19 Pansy May Starkey – Born May 20, 1920
(John 14:19) In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me;
because I live, you also will live.
The death of our loved ones who know and love the Lord is a bitter-sweet experience. It is bitter because we lose for a time the close and warm experience of. sharing life and love with them, but it is sweet because beyond the sorrow of our loss there is a knowledge that life is far better for them in the house of our Heavenly Father, and because His comfort and love become more meaningful to us.
Pansy, was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend and fellow servant of Jesus Christ. She lived a useful life. Now she has laid her burdens down. We gather in love to mourn our loss, but also to celebrate her gain. We come in the face of death's mystery, but also in the assurance of the resurrection and life eternal. "Because I live," Christ says to each of us, "so shall you live."
.The apostle Paul tells us that death is the means whereby we shed our bodies of corruption in order to receive bodies which are not subject to decay. God did not intend that we should live forever in such a body.
SUPPOSE WE COULD NOT DIE. BUT WERE FATED TO LIVE FOREVER IN A BODY WHICH GREW EVER OLDER. WEAKER. AND MORE PAINFUL. AN ETERNAL VICTIM OF DISEASE AND CORRUPTION?
So while death is an enemy. God causes even this enemy to serve us for our own Good. In this sense, then, death is a blessed release, offering the anticipation of a resurrection body that is incorruptible and immortal.
Pansy, had lived a good life. She was married, had wonderful children and saw many changes in her 82 years. She kept a household, carried out the duties of a farmer's wife, including feeding live stock, milking, gathering eggs, gardening, mowing, canning.
She interacted with neighbors and nobody she saw was a stranger. Her faith was important to her. I understand that each night before she would go to bed she would say her prayers.
Pansy loved her family and she would demonstrate her love in various way. She often would hold your hand or give a hug to make you feel safe and secure.
She enjoyed her grand children. You are a part of who she was. And in deed she is a part of who you are. Many mannerisms and traits that you display can be traced back to her. Part of Pansy lives on in each of you. By all accounts Pansy was genuinely a good person.
Each of us has a certain fear of suffering and dying. This is true even of the most religious among us. Sometimes we turn our face from death, we would just as soon not deal with it. Sometimes people can die quite alone. They die alone in a kind of conspiracy of silences because we don't want to face the reality of death.
This was not the case for Pansy. She was blessed to have a loving family that surrounded her in her time of need and attended to all her needs. Family we know it was not easy, especially over these past few weeks, But in the end when she was in need you were there for her. Please, Know that YOU did all that YOU COULD possibly do for her and because of your lovekindness you brought comfort to her in her final hours.
But, from what I have learned of Pansy. I would imagine that SHE might be a little miffed at us for making such a fuss over her now. She would probably tell us to get on with our lives and stop fretting so much about her. She is okay, in fact he has never been better.
Pansy is now experiencing Heaven's sunrise. Death has been the doorway for her to enter that blessed experience. The Bible says, "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those who love Him.
But, with her passing we lose more than someone we loved. We lose more than someone to help shape and mold lives. We lose a whole generation of knowledge. Things that were only stored in her mind. But much of that she shared with you family and now you are the keepers of that knowledge. She would want you to use it for good and love kindness.
Pansy’s Faith was important to her. She recognized the reality of a greater Being. And, she realized daily the renewing strength of the Lord in her life.
Paul had the assurance that sprang from the experience described in his words, "for to me to live is Christ." To live in Christ is to conquer the enemies of life and death too, as did Paul and as did Pansy--All who love the Lord will gain that victory.
WE AFFIRM THE REALITY OF DEATH BUT AT THE SAME TIME REJOICE IN THE EXPECTATION OF RESURRECTION.
Death for Christians is gain. Jesus died, but he rose again, as every Christian can testify out of his or her own experience, and he promises to all who trust him, "Because I live, you shall live also."
FINALLY, WE GIVE THANKS FOR THE PRESENCE OF THE RISEN CHRIST.
Christ promised us that because he lives so too shall we live. That is because the risen Christ lives in our hearts.
The assurance Christians have is available for everyone who leaves their self-centeredness behind and trusts in Christ and lives for him. He alone can give us resurrection and Heaven. The Bible says. "He that hath the Sun hath the light. but he that hath not the Son hath not eternal life."
Today we grieve, but not as those who have no hope, for we find peace in the nearness and presence of God, and God will provide for us in the unknown tomorrows as we depend upon Him.
Even as we mourn her death we can rejoice for Pansy. She is in the eternal presence of Christ.
We who are left can go forward to live courageously and victoriously because of His promises: "Because I live, you too shall live." And, "I will never leave you nor forsake you...! am with you to the end of the world—My peace I give unto you—Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid."
LET US PRAY: