Pastor Paul announced that we'd skip the individual praises, prayer requests and announcements due to the time constraints of the occasion and we moved right into the memorial service. A number of family members and close friends, good country folk who knew this woman well, were surprisingly elegant in their individual eulogies. It was as if the Holy Spirit was directly guiding them in what they said so well and indeed, I believe that was the case. Then the Pastor offered comments and a prayer, ending the memorial portion of the service with his own wish that when it was his turn to return home, he hoped that people remembered him with such kind and praising words.
The sermon was about God's love, how He wants each of us to know Him and how disappointed He must be when we mortals let Him down. But the hope for all of us came when the Lord offered up His Son for our sins and how that forgiveness always awaits us. All we have to do is accept it and believe and we will inherit a place that has been prepared for us. And this is the point where he tied the life of the dearly departed into the sermon's conclusion, saying that we all hope to see our loved ones who have departed us again. He suggested that if we live our life like that nice lady lived hers, we will, for there was no doubt in his mind that she was already in the place Jesus prepared for her. And she was now wrapped in the loving arms of the Savior who has welcomed her as she contemplates an eternal life without pain, suffering or worry.
The icing on the cake was a wonderful celebration of her life with a luncheon where we who were church members got to know our visitors and we all watched in wonder how the countenance of the grieving husband changed into a smile. I truly believe that at that moment he knew what his dearly departed expected of him and that he committed to fulfilling it and then seeing her in heaven when his time on earth is done. It was a touching service and a touching finale. God be praised!