+ In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti + Amen.
Text: John 11:25
Theme: Life In Christ
Dear family, friends, and loved ones of Colin, Cindy, Tanya, Cory, and especially you, Janet,
Words are sometimes hollow substitutes for expressions that require something more substantial. A sympathetic embrace can render words insignificant. Grieving is a holistic enterprise. It engages us; mind, body, soul and spirit. It occupies our thoughts, seizes our emotions, and even affects us physically. It is proper that it should be this way because when we grieve we confront ultimate things. Death is not a fictitious problem. It is the very epitome of reality beyond our control.
Yet there are appropriate words to be said because there is One who says them with authority. Christ was no stranger to death. But death could not hold Him and it is His words that matter. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”1 He said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”2 Colin is now embraced with divine love. Thanks be to God!
Colin was a man of few words. But that didn’t mean he had little to say. He had his ways to speak clearly. Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs fit Colin well. “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”3 “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”4 Colin certainly used words with restraint and he was even-tempered.
Colin was a devoted husband and father. He was loved by his family and loved them immensely. He was respected in the community. He was loyal to his church. He was found regularly in God’s house hearing His word, taking communion and receiving forgiveness. All these things he did with integrity still knowing he required God’s mercy.
Colin was saved by grace just like every sinner. He was the beneficiary of the boundless mercy of God shown in Jesus Christ. He was baptized into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into whose presence he has now been received. Colin no longer suffers silently. His burdens have been lifted. He cares and concerns have dissolved. He has received the reward of faith. He is at peace.
But we continue on with our journey here, temporary as it is. Mortality is no laughing matter. There is no opting out of the discussion. Each day is a gift, not an entitlement. The widely held opinion that we should all die at a ripe old age is merely a human construct. To fall short of this gives no one the right to cry unfair. No mortal can stand on their own justified before the Almighty. Only Christ’s sacrifice on the cross counts. There the price for sin is paid. Only His resurrection offers true and eternal life. Christians should not live life seeking to avoid the topic of death as long as possible. Rather, we cherish every day of life we are granted on this journey to a much greater existence.
Colin was never one to have a fuss made over him. He wasn’t really one for fanfare. He loved the quiet of the river and the opportunity for reflection that it offered. Words weren’t really required. But Colin did have to tolerate some fanfare and some important words when he was received into his heavenly home; as the Scripture says, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”5
These were Christ’s words to Colin. He was blessed richly in His life and He was a rich blessing to others. Jan, your comfort is in the words of the Apostle Paul who said, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”6 These are His words of promise. Amen.
+ In nomine Jesu +
Christian Burial for Colin David Lloyd
14 June 2013
Reverend Darrin L. Kohrt
1 John 11:25
2 Revelation 1:17-18
3 Proverbs 10:19
4 Proverbs 17:27
5 Matthew 25:34
6 Romans 8:37-39