A Life Interpreted Through Love (funeral)

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  13
Subject: Funeral; Love

A Life Interpreted Through Love

J. Mike Minnix
(Editor's Note: This is a funeral sermon idea for a a deceased Chriatuan who lived a life of love for Cbrist, family, and the church.)

I Corinthians 13

It is fitting that I read today from the love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, and share a few words concerning love because (name here) lived a life of love. It was a love from above - and a love that [he or she] now knows better than ever in this life, for [he or she] is now in the presence of God, and God is love.

The greatest of all loves is that love that God shared with us when He gave His one and only Son to be our Savior. That love, once received by faith, changes the way we live and express love in our own lives. That is certainly the case with the person we memorialize today. Think about the love shown through this life - a life that reflected Jesus Christ and His redemption.

I. Love for Family

[At this point it is appropriate to share how much the deceased loved his or her family - and how much they loved the deceased. This gives the preacher an opportunity to address some humorous and serious occasions from the deceased Christian's life. I shared the following at the funeral of a Christian lady.]

You might well have written of her what the poet penned many years ago about his mother:

"You painted no Madonnas, on chapel walls in Rome

But with a touch diviner, you lived them in your home.

You wrote no lofty poems, that critics counted art,

But with a nobler vision, you lived them in your heart.

You carved no shapeless marble, To some high soul-ed design,

But with a finer sculpture, You shaped this soul of mine.

You built no great cathedrals, that centuries applaud,

But with a grace exquisite, your life cathedral-ed God."

[Sharing personal information about the love shown by the deceased toward family members is very helpful and comforting for the family. During family visits prior to the funeral, it is important to listen to the comments the family makes about the hours and days of loving care given during the deceased lifetime. Once away from the family, write down those thoughts and share them in the funeral service.]

II. Love For The Church

[This is the time in the funeral to point out the contribution the deceased made to the local church. Share personal things you know, or those told to you by others, about his or her love for and work in the church. Years of attendance, giving, teaching, singing, working in VBS, etc., need to be recognized. These thoughts encourage the family at a time of loss, but they also challenge those attending the funeral who are wasting away their time on trivial things to get busy for God.]

III. Love For People

[I shared these words about a deceased lady when doing her funeral.]

Sally was a people person. Her conversation did not center on herself. When you visited her, you got a history lesson on local people she had known. She loved people and they loved her. She spoke well of people and did not spend her time spreading needless harmful gossip. She was a delight to know. I often heard her tell of having preachers who were invited to her home for meals during revivals or special days in the church. She ministered to people. She visited the sick. In this way, she was acting like Jesus, because that is what our Master did when He was on earth. She was a follower of Jesus when it came to others.

IV. Love For Christ

[This is the time to share the salvation experience of the deceased and to tell of the love the individual had for Christ. This is also the time to point out that the love of the deceased for Christ was predicated on the love Christ first her for him or her.]

Studdert-Kennedy wrote,

"So I looked up to God and while I held my breath,

I saw Him slowly Nod, and knew - as I had never known aught else,

With certainty sublime and passionate,

Shot through and through with sheer unutterable Bliss,

I knew there was no death, but This - God's Kiss,

And then waking to an everlasting Love."

She would want everyone here to know the love that meant the most to her - love from Christ and love for Christ.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, open your heart to His love today; and, like this special lady, you will be ready when death comes to visit you personally.

Many of us already know the Lord, so let us live a life of love...

Love for family

Love for the Church

Love people

   and, most of all

Love for Jesus, for He first loved us and gave Himself for us!