Pastor Bob Tousey
This evening we gather to honor and celebrate ___________’s life. Some of you have had the honor of knowing _______ since birth while others met him along the way. It does not matter when you met him because he touched each of you in a special way. I am certain that many of you feel an emptiness in your heart and in the days leading up to today have had tears run down your cheeks. What I can assure is that where that emptiness is today will soon be filled with memories of the happy times you had with _______. While occasionally you will still have a tear running down your cheek more frequently the memory of ______________ will trip a smile from your lip.
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. When I was young my mom explained to my brother and I that people are loaned to us, some for a very long time and others for a very short time. None of us know why each person’s life span is different but we do all know that death will eventually knock on each of our doors. Therefore, it is important for us to make the most of the time we have, to love each other, value each other, forgive each other remembering not to waste time on the sadness and disagreements of the past but to make the most of today.
We should remember to make the most of the gifts that we have been given. 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 happy times.
When I was a fire chaplain I often spent time with families after a loss. First, there would be tears, shock and denial but eventually someone would put on a pot of coffee, the photo albums would come out and stories would be told. When I saw the family laughing and crying at the same time I knew the healing had begun. These are both powerful emotions and I encourage you to exercise them in abundance. Over the next hours, days, weeks, months and years share the stories of the good times.
Miss Me, But Let Me Go When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free? Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me but let me go. For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home. When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me but let me go.
Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours -- now and forever. Amen