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  • Writer's pictureRev. Chris Brademeyer

Baptized into Christ, We Will Rise Like Christ!

A Funeral Sermon for Lucien Peterson

4/2/2024

Job 19:21-27

Rev. Christopher W. Brademeyer

 

That portion of God’s holy Word for consideration this morning is our Old Testament lesson from the book of Job in the 19th chapter with special emphasis on verses twenty-five through twenty-seven which read as follows:

 

         “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!”

Thus far the Scriptures.

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

                         Dear friends in Christ, We are gathered here today to lay to rest our dear brother Lucien. There are a many good things we could say about Lucien, stories that might be shared. This is a difficult thing to do in only a span of a few minutes. After all, the expectation to adequately sum up a man’s long life in only a few minutes is a difficult thing at best and there are certainly no small number of you here that could do so much better than I could.

                         Lucien was a man who wore many hats throughout his long life. These hats, this different facets of his life are what we Christians call “vocations”, that is, things that God has given Lucien to do in his life. He was a farmer, truck driver, and worker. He was a father to many, both his and those not of his blood and grandfather to an even greater number than that. He was a husband to two women, both of whom preceded him to be with the Lord Jesus.

                         But more than all of these things, more fundamental to Lucien was his vocation, his calling by God, to be a Christian, a hearer of the Word. Now we call this a foundational thing because of how far reaching the ramifications of it are. No matter how good the things we have been blessed with having in this life, there is only one calling from God that not only grants good things in the here and now, but also in the hereafter and that is our Lord Jesus Christ and the gifts He grants.

                         Lucien was baptized into Christ, and thereby put on Christ so that Lucien’s death was united to Christ’s own. And, having died with Christ, death cannot hold onto Lucien. Now death, that great enemy, is no longer merely the punishment for sin, but now serves our Lord Jesus as the way in which Christians are brought to Him in the eternal dwelling place of heaven, there to await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

                         How can I say with such confidence that Lucien is there with our Lord? Just like a good farmer tills, fertilizes, plants, and waters, so our Lord Jesus has given Lucien all that he needed to endure in this life and ensure that these blessings would last into eternity. And Lucien certainly took this all seriously; he knew very well that our Lord Jesus was His Savior, God come in the flesh to redeem and make him holy, to ensure that his sins be forgiven, and grant every blessing of heaven to Lucien and all believers.

                         You see, Lucien knew that Jesus Christ came into this world of sin to lay down his life for sinners, thereby earning for them salvation and every blessing of heaven. Lucien knew this, having been granted the gift of faith by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, this belief was a comfort to him through his many years of life, through good times and bad. Why was it a comfort? Because it gave him a foundation, a certain, immovable foundation that could not be taken from him by death or disease, or any of the misfortunes of this life. Indeed, there is nothing we have to offer by way of antidote to death, or the myriad sufferings in this life. Indeed, though we can give some measure of comfort, we cannot reverse it.

                         That is why we must, at times like this, look to the One who can. This is the sum total of the reason for the Christian Church. We are weak people, beset with illness and death and we need a Savior.

                         Now it is also the case that God has seen our need and heard us cry out as we suffer under sin and death and, though we do not deserve it, He saved us by sending His Son to become a man in order to suffer and die so that we might life. The death of our Lord Jesus Christ is our life. His death is our salvation. In Christ, sins have been done away with. In Christ we are given forgiveness, life, and salvation and this is the only way through death into life.

                         So, naturally, this means that Lucien’s Christian faith was foundational, of utmost importance. We do not disparage or look down on those other things he was in life: father, grandfather, husband, farmer, neighbor, etc. After all, these are simply reminders of how good of a gift Lucien was to us from God our Father. But, at the end, Lucien’s connection to Christ is our source of hope and comfort as Christ has promised, ensured, and earned a way form this life to the next for Lucien and all the faithful.

 

In the holy Name of + Jesus. Amen.

 

The peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

                        

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