Dying, Christ destroyed our death.
Rising, Christ restored our life.
Christ will come again in glory.
Here and now dear friends
We are God’s children
What we shall be has not yet been revealed;
But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Those who have this hope purify themselves as Christ is pure.
Friends, we have gathered here to thank God and to witness to our faith as we celebrate the life of Susan A Major. We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, and in sorrow - hope, and in death - resurrection.
Let us Pray. O God, who gave us birth, you are always ready to hear us as we pray. You know our needs before we ask. Give to us now your grace, that as we face the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death. Help us to live as those you are prepared to die. And as our days are accomplished, enable us to face death with faith, so that living or dying, our life may be in You, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Time For Memories – God’s Photographs in our mind
Time for Questions -
Job 14:14 If mortals die, can they live again? This thought would give me hope, and through my struggle I would eagerly wait for release.
Time For Hope
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Jesus said I am the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, Because I live, you shall live also.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures:
he leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul:
he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Many people have found great comfort from Psalm 23 because it speaks of a God who cares for us not only in this life, but in the life to come. God gives us good things . . . green pastures, still waters. God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Where does God lead those who trust in Jesus Christ? We are led to God’s presence where we will live forever.
It is easy to think God is on our side whenever we get together to celebrate baptism, graduation or a wedding . . . But when someone dies, our response is often different. Sometimes we wonder where God is. Sometimes we question why God allowed the death to occur. At times God even gets blamed for the death. These questions and doubts are a normal response to the death of someone we love. In some cases we even thank God that our loved one has been released from the suffering and pain and is now at peace. Whatever our response, the death of our loved one causes us to think about God, the afterlife and our own spiritual life.
The spiritual journey we are on has cross-roads, stop signs, U turns. We are at times brought to an abrupt stop in life to consider higher things like: the meaning of life, the meaning of death, and spiritual issues. We re-evaluate our priorities. We may ask - Where do I go from here?
During times like these we need to know we are not alone. Family and friends fill a great need for us, but when we are all alone, we need to know that there is someone who cares for us more than all others. Psalm 23 assures us of God’s presence.
At times we may feel guilty, we may think of the disappointments and failures of life . . . that is when we need to appreciate God’s love and forgiveness.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. God is forgiving and welcomes us home at the end of life’s journey. God is beside you.
The everlasting arms of God are around you. He holds you close. He says - I love you, trust me, I am walking with you through this, rest, I have been with you this far . . . I will continue to go with you all the way.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You art with me.
You will find God’s presence helpful in dealing with the burdens of life. Your soul will be renewed. Your spiritual journey is yours, it is unique, It is important that you pursue it. Growth and change will surely take place and living will is possible again with God’s help.
John 14 "Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there."
"No, we don't know, Lord," Thomas said. "We haven't any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
“HAVEN OF HIS LOVE” by Jon Gilbert
THE SEA OF LIFE IS ROUGH AND STORMY
AND MY CRAFT IS SMALL AND FRAIL;
BUT WITH GOD’S HAND AT THE WHEEL,
I CAN WEATHER ANY GALE.
THROUGH SHOALS OF DISAPPOINTMENT, WITH CRUEL REEFS ON EITHER SIDE,
WITH THE MASTER AS MY PILOT,
MY SHIP WILL SAFELY RIDE.
WHEN DOUBTS AND FEARS ASSAIL ME,
AND SEEK TO OVERWHELM,
IN PERFECT PEACE, I REST SECURELY
FOR GOD IS A THE HELM.
AND WHEN LIFE’S LAST STORM IS WEATHERED,
’NEATH CLEAR BLUE SKIES ABOVE,
MY SHIP WILL FIND SAFE HARBOR,
IN THE HAVEN OF HIS LOVE.
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
COMMITTAL In the midst of life, we are in death; from whom can we seek help? Our help is in the name of the Lord who made the heaven and the earth. God who raised Christ from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, into your hands we commend ____________ in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This body we commit to the ground, to these elements, to its resting place. They rest from their labors and their deeds follow them.
We thank you for those we love but see no more. Receive into your arms of mercy our loved one _____________, and grant grace and comfort to the family and friends who mourn their passing. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ who died and rose again that we might believe in Him and have life eternal.
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Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without fault in the presence of God’s glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
This now concludes the service here, On behalf of the family; we wish to express gratitude for your kindness and for your presence during this service.
If we can be of any assistance to you or the family in the days ahead feel free to contact us.