Pastor Bob Tousey
You may wonder why Pastor Bob has a purely Old Testament service on this website. Well over the course of his career there have been two occasions where he has been asked to officiate a funeral where the deceased was Jewish and his immediate family Christian. In such circumstances I am agreeable to officiating the funeral if the service does not contain any reference to denying the divinity of Christ. The Old Testament is common to both faiths and a service focusing on the Old Testament is not inconsistent with Christian beliefs. It is Pastor Bob’s belief that when a loved one is lost the primary focus must be to comfort the family while remaining true to his faith.
We gather today to remember and honor the life of _______________. When someone we love dies, there is a feeling of loss. When a loved one is no longer with us, it can trigger very strong reactions, emotions, and questions. We are here today as the people of God to find comfort in the truth of Scripture, and especially to surround _______’s family with our love, our faith, and our prayers.
Thousands of years ago Solomon wrote this passage in the Book of Ecclesiastics, which has come to be known as a time for everything and I’d like to share it with you.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to harvest;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
In this passage we are reminded of the importance of time. Every event in our lives has a time to begin and a time to end. We all have clocks in our home, many wear watches on their wrists. We are always reminded about time. You knew that this service began at _______. You know what time you must be at work. You know the week ends on Saturday and begins on Sunday. Nothing lasts forever. Early in this passage we are reminded that life does not last forever either. There is a time to be born and a time to die. We are also taught in this passage that there is a time to mourn and a time to dance. Today is clearly your day to mourn. It is healthy to cry and be sad but only for a time. Eventually, we must leave the sadness behind and go on to live and be there for one another. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Right now, is a time for both. We weep for our sadness, but we laugh when we remember happier times.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He has me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the still waters.
He revives my soul;
He guides me on paths of righteousness for His glory.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no harm,
For you are with me.
Your rod and your staff do comfort me.
You set a table in sight of my enemies;
You anoint my head with rich oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall abide in the house of the Lord forever.
This Psalm expresses the most intimate, personal relationship of man with his beloved God. Troubles may abound, agony may strike the soul, but there is this one comforting thought--"the Lord is my Shepherd." As a shepherd seeks to guide and care for his flock, as he seeks fertile pastures in which his sheep may graze, as he always stays close to his flock and helps them grow and develop, as he lovingly embraces and raises up the sheep who have been injured, so does God, the Divine Shepherd, watch over His flock. We, the members of the flock, may sometimes, in our despair, doubt the justice of the Shepherd; we may not understand His ways, but we are confident that He is concerned with our welfare.
"He has me lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters." And so, even if sometimes, as is inevitable, "I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no harm, for You are with me: Your rod and Your staff do comfort me." For I know that the rod of the Shepherd seeks to guide me, however strange that path may seem to be, however puzzled I may be by the evil that has befallen me. My faith in the Divine Shepherd gives me the confidence to proclaim, "Only goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall abide in the house of the Lord forever."
The Memorial Prayer - Kel Maleh Rachamim
"O God, full of compassion, Thou who dwellest on high! Grant perfect rest beneath the sheltering wings of Thy presence, among the holy and pure who shine as the brightness on the heavens, unto the soul of ____________ the son of ____________ who has gone unto eternity, and in whose memory, charity is offered. May his repose be in paradise. May the Lord of Mercy bring him under the cover of His wings forever, and may his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life. May the Lord be his possession, and may he rest in peace. Amen."
Shortly we will remember and honor ________’s life before we do, I would like to share the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say?
About how you spent your dash?
Insert memories of the deceased.