Pastor Bob Tousey
Sudden Death of a Young Person
At a moment like this is hard to know where to begin. I know just a week ago this is not where any of us planned to be this evening and this is certainly not the place any of us want to be. It is a reminder to us, how life can change in the blink of an eye. It reminds us that we need to take every opportunity to value those in our lives and show them our love.
I am not going to attempt to offer an explanation as to why God chose to call _______ home so soon. The bible does not even try to explain God’s timing. We do have the hope that ________ is at rest and that each one of us will have the opportunity to be reunited with ________. It is important to remember tonight is not good bye but until we meet again.
I would now like to offer a prayer for each of you for your comfort during this difficult time.
Heavenly Father we know and believe that our time is in Your hands, but Lord it’s a shock to us when a dear loved one is called home suddenly and long before it would be expected.
Lord we bring before You today _______’s family and friends who are suffering such a tragic loss and pray that You will be very close to each one that is in mourning today and are perhaps confused or even angry that __________was taken so suddenly. You are the God of all comfort Who comforts us in time of need, and we pray _________’s family and friends. Uphold them we pray and ask that You draw very close to them … raise up we pray, the right people to minister to them and to be a genuine comfort and support during this time of tragedy and grief.
Lord we don’t understand why _________ was called away so soon, but Lord we trust You to comfort and loved us all in this time of need. In Jesus name we pray, Amen
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 pluck up what is planted;
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.
Early in this passage we are taught that there is a time to be born and a time to die. Life on earth is not supposed to last forever but we certainly don’t it expect it to be so short. However, the time we are each given is out of our hands. When I was a young boy my mom explained to my brother and I that people are only loaned to us. Some for a long time and some for a very short time. While the Bible does not explain what some are only here for a short time it does provide us with the hope of eternal life. We learn that earthly death is simply the end of a chapter and that it represents a new beginning for __________. We also are taught that we all will have the opportunity to be reunited with ____________ when it comes our time to be called. In the mean time we all have a responsibility to share his legacy with future generations. ___________’s story can not end today, it must go on and each of you have the responsibility of sharing _____________’s story. You are now his voice.
While today is a sad day as we honor _________, it is important to remember that the reason you are sad is that you have been blessed with the gift of having ___________ in your lives. Remember those happy times and the blessing they were. Carry those memories with you and be thankful that you had the opportunity to create those memories.
We are also taught that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Today is certainly your time to weep however I encourage each of you to also recall the pleasant memories you have of your life with _________. The wonderful times you shared and laugh about the happy times. In my years of working with families I have found stories are a great way of healing. They bring out both of those powerful emotions of laughing and crying. I encourage you to exercise both in abundance and to love one another.
I would now like to share with you a special poem entitled “The Dash” and its written 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.
I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing
times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who
grieve, to dry before the sun,
And think of happy memories
when the day is done.
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