It is easy to feel sorry at a funeral.
It is easy to feel sorry for the departed one;
sorry for the grieving family; sorry for oneself.
I'll tell you whom I feel sorry for today.
I feel sorry for all the people who did not have the rare and wonderful opportunity
of meeting, of knowing, and of working with (name).
One of the greatest things about (name) was his refusal to label people.
He regarded each and everyone he met as a unique, complex human being
with a willing heart and many thoughts to share.
He believed that each person had something from which he could learn.
We could use words to describe this individual
such as kind, generous, wise, cheerful, and helpful.
These words are all true, but he was more than what little they can convey.
(Name) we will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile.
We will miss your kind words, great advice,
and great energy that were so contagious.
We will miss all the great conversation and the sharing of ideas.
Let us be selfish for just a moment.
Let us realize something.
We are saddened and shocked, but we will survive the death of (name).
Even more, we will continue to benefit from all that he has done
to make this company better.
We will benefit from his restless drive to innovate and to perfect.
We will benefit from his example as the business continues to build.
We have suffered a terrible loss,
but, following a life so rich, full, creative, and generous,
we are left, strange as it may seem to us at this sad moment, with a profit.
All of us have profited from this great individual, and we will be better people because of him.
Dwight L. Moody said that Henry Drummond's death,
"The home-going of Drummond adds one more attraction to Heaven."
So the home going of this saint of God adds one more attraction to Heaven
A beautiful Chinese Christian girl was being put to death at the stake
during the Boxer Rebellion in the late 1800s for failure to compromise principles.
Her relatives and friends gathered about weeping for her.
It is recorded that she said in a clear voice words, which are prophetic for us today,
"Do not weep for me. I am dying for a great cause. What are you living for?"
We are saddened because of our loneliness, our fears, and our uncertainties.
However, may we this day turn our fear into faith,
our sorrow into joy, our doubt into certainty,
our loneliness into Divine companionship."
Hope is the blessed anticipation that fills the heart with gladness.
Hope is the Christian expectation of eternal goodness.
Hope is working through long days anticipating some enchanted evening.
Hope is Shelley singing with the night, "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"
Hope is a pilgrimage, punctuated at the end by a light in the window of home.
Hope is an anchor of the soul.
Hope steadies us in storms.
Hope holds us up, and gives us a spirit, which is undefeatable.
When hope vanishes, there is grieving.
When hope is alive, all things are alive.
Our hope is in Christ.
This dear one had all his hope in Christ.
His hope is alive, and he is alive forever in Christ.
Life is composed of opposites: daylight and dark, good and bad,
health and sickness, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow.
To get the full capacity of the piano,
the black keys must be played as well as the white.
Tears are always locked in the happiest smiles.
George Matheson was motivated by such faith when he wrote:
"0 joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be."
It is said that when Henry Ward Beecher was on his deathbed,
he suddenly rose up and said to his friend,
"Just think, Pond, in a few minutes I will see Jesus."
That is the desire of every Christian!
The cross of Christ makes plain two facts.
First, that in this world even the innocent are not exempt from suffering.
Secondly, there is a power able to surmount evil,
rise above tragedy, and to comfort in the face of death.
In the cross of Christ we can see God suffering with us.
We see an example of triumph over agony.
God gives us an example in Christ of how we should meet suffering
and how we can triumph over death.
Death does not always appear the same.
When it lays its hand upon children or youth in the midst of their lives,
it seems premature.
When death snatches a middle-aged person in the prime of activity,
it is an unwelcomed, dreaded guest.
When death tears an infant out of the arms of its sobbing mother, it is merciless.
When it reaches into a home to remove a father or mother,
leaving crushing responsibilities upon the companion,
death is no respecter of persons.
However, when one has lived a long, useful life,
and when one has worked many long years, death is a welcomed visitor.
When one's friends and family are mostly on the other side, death comes as a friend. When illness lingers through endless days and nights
and hope for recovery is gone -- then death comes as an angel of mercy.
Many times we think of death as the end.
We should think of death as the beginning.
We often think of death as losing, when it should be gain.
We think of parting, instead of arrival.
It is not closing the door.
It is opening the door to eternity.
It is not paying a debt;
it is taking our promissory note to our Lord for life eternal.
It is not a passing to mourn; it is a promotion to enjoy.
It is not regret; it is reward.
One man had the right spirit when he said to his dying mother:
"I'm going to let you go now, Mother...
Have a wonderful time in heaven. You have earned this joy."
Physical death is not a final disaster.
This is the core of the Christian faith.
Man is not primarily a body; he is a soul.
This part of man cannot be kept alive on "bread alone,"
nor can it be killed by gunshot, knife blades, accident, flood, fire nor disease.
The body is but an earthly house for the dwelling of our souls.
The house may become dilapidated and worn or it may meet with calamity,
but this does not mean defeat.
"If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved,
we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
(2 Corinthians 5: 1)
That is the assurance of Christians throughout the centuries,
vindicated by the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Physical death is not a tragedy!
Tragedy is the spiritual death of the soul
who will not submit to the Lordship of Christ.
This is tragic for it kills the soul.
We are smitten by grief and deeply distressed.
We have come to pay our closing tribute to a fellow traveler and friend.
May we be guided as well as comforted by the words of our Master who said,
"Come to me, all who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly and heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Prepared By Dr. Harold L. White
Email dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org