Sermon for Jennifer Duncan RIP

East Window DetailIn the Name of the Father . . .

Jennifer was fighting for her life for a good while, and the whole family has been on a war footing against the disease.

When I went over to the house on Thursday to plan today’s funeral, Jen’s mom said to me, “Please don’t say Jennifer lost the battle.”

And then Rick (Jen’s brother-in-law) walked me to my car, and we were talking about woodworking. We both were in the woodworking business at one time. I found myself boasting about what I had done, and who I worked for. I mean I was really bragging about all that I had accomplished as a woodworker. I am sorry about that Rick.

The truth is my business was an absolute failure from start to finish. But only a failure if you count the money. I loved to do the work, and I was really good at it. But, eventually I had to get out of it. And 20 years ago I went into another high paying line of work; the ministry.

We just do not have the right perspective to judge the value of things.

I can imagine when my mother was pregnant with me: I am warm, I’m being fed, I have my thumb to suck on. If there was a pregnancy committee in there I can hear them saying, “O boy, I think he’s getting ready to leave. He’s awful big. That’s too bad.” And I would’ve said, “Hey wait a minute! I don’t want to go anywhere. I’ve got everything I need right here.”

And then I get born. My mom is yelling, and I’m crying my eyes out. And that was just the beginning of my life!

Jesus actually said something like this to his disciples,
John 16:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
21 When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world.
22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (RSV)

“Human beings do not belong to one another. We are God’s children. We belong to Him. It is by sheer grace that we are together for a time—for a little while. We receive God’s gift of another person in our lives with thanksgiving. But we must realize that this person is a gift—we cannot hang on, or refuse to let go of one of God’s children when He calls.” (Martin Bell: The Way of the Wolf)

My wife, Marianne, says if you love life and love your people and love what you do in God’s creation you have won.

And Jennifer, with an absolute relentless stubbornness loved living, and loved her family and friends, and fought to have more and more life. She has won the battle and now she is on to a new adventure! Amen.


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