- Today we gather together under sad circumstances. We are here to mourn the passing of Sylvia but despite the pain of this hour I am comforted by the fact that I know where Sylvia is resting now. I have no reservation that tody Sylvia is enjoying the presence of Jesus Christ.
- I have only been Sylvia's pastor for a few months and unfortunately the only relationship we were able to develop was from a hospital bed. But in the short time we got to know one another we were blessed to have some great conversations about the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Today, however, I want us to set aside the mourning for a brief time and celebrate a life. While God has granted us a period of mourning, He has also given us the assurance of a brighter tomorrow. And I'm sure that if Sylvia could have her wish right now, it would be for us to catch a glimpse of her new home!
- She may tell us of the magnificent glory of being in the presence of God because as a Christian that is what she is enjoying today. I'm sure that Sylvia would want everyone here to know that there is nothing compared to being with Jesus Christ. As Christians we are blessed with the presence of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is With His People in Life (Matt 28:20b)
- Jesus spent 3 years walking and training his disciples before he was crucified on the cross.
- But by the grace of God Jesus rose from the grave 3 days later and in giving His son, you and I have the hope of the presence of Christ in our lives. We have access to God.
- After He rose from the grave he appeared to many people and in the context of Jesus ascending into heaven he gives this promise to his disciples - I am with you alway even to the end of the age.
- This means that Jesus is with His believers even to this day. Jesus can be with you today too. It takes putting your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing he died and was raised for your sins.
- Sylvia has been blessed by enjoying a life in the presence of Jesus Christ. Though she went through suffering toward the end, she was still in the presence of Jesus
Jesus is With His People in Death (Rom 8:38, 39)
- As Paul writes to the Romans he shares with them the blessing of a relationship with Jesus.
- He paints a picture of Jesus everlasting love. In an attempt to answer what appears to be a concern of the people that somehow death would separate the people, Paul promises that there is nothing that will take us from the presence of Jesus Christ.
- Death does not separate us from anything but our earthly bodies, and from there we go straight into a brighter presence of Jesus Christ.
- As Sylvia slipped from the outer shell of her body she moved into a glorious presence where there nothing between her and Jesus. Isn't that an incredible promise. When we die, there is something beautiful waiting - if we know Jesus.
Jesus is With His People in Eternity (2 Cor. 5:8)
- Sylvia did not leave her home on Tuesday morning - but rather she went home on Tuesday morning.
- Because Sylvia knew Jesus Christ her home was not here on earth. Sure, she made this place a home for her, Robert, the boys, but she was just a sojourner. Know she is in the presence of Christ in her eternal home.
- Those of us who know the Lord will join her one day.
- So you see, we need to rejoice today in the midst of our sorrow and pain. For we know the promises of our Lord have been fulfilled through the life of Sylvia. John writes the words of Jesus in Rev. 2:10b which apply to Sylvia - "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
- I think it appropriate today to close with the words of Paul when faced with his own death: 2 Tim 4:7 - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
- Let's pray.