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Dorothy Thimgahn Funeral

January 11, 2014

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Saturday after the Epiphany                                               Trinity Lutheran Church

11 January 2014                                                                         Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +



1 Corinthians 15:51-58


Well, here we are.  It’s been almost seven years since we tucked Eldred into his grave to wait for what the text promises:  THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.  The day when the “perishable” gets “clothed with the imperishable.”  The day when the “mortal” gets “dressed with immortality.”  Now it’s time to tuck in Dorothy next to Eldred in the full confidence that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life for those who believe in Him!


The apostle Paul lets us in on Christianity’s big mystery.  He lets it out of the bag, if you will.  It’s always good news but it’s comforting news especially today.


Here it is!  On the Last Day we will hear a loud trumpet blast.  It will announce the Crucified but Risen King’s revelation of Himself in glory.  Even in glory His Good Friday wounds will be showing.  Revealing once again that He’s the Savior of sinners.  Showing how much it cost to win your salvation, namely His divine Blood.


And at that very moment, the dead in Christ, that includes Dorothy, “will be changed.”  She’ll be given a new set of clothes.  A resurrected body!  Dressed imperishably.  Dressed immortally.  Bodily raised and resurrected — as fast as the lightning flashes in a Nebraska summer thunderstorm.  Raised from the grave –as fast as you could see that twinkle in Dorothy’s eye when she giggled at a Trudy Todd joke in a Trinity Ladies Aid meeting or while she played Pitch at Boosters when Eldred would only bid “Four,” never “Five”!  Well, maybe that wasn’t a twinkle.  It was more like a rolling of her eyes giving off a silent message:  “There he goes again!”


“We will all be changed.”  Bodily!  As an expert seamstress Dorothy will be wonderfully delighted on the Last Day to see with her eyes how the Lord Jesus “clothes” her mortal body that grew old, weak, and perished a week ago with the imperishable and the immortal.  And so will you!


How will Jesus do it?  How does one “clothe” the dead or those that “sleep” with imperishability and immortality?


Well, first, let’s remember that in her Baptism, Dorothy was clothed with Christ.  Given to wear Jesus all her life!  That’s Galatians 3:27!  And when you’re clothed with Jesus you’re good to go!  His victory over sin and death is Dorothy’s victory.  Good Friday and Easter Sunday count for Dorothy.  And for you too who believe in Jesus.


So Dorothy, in her Baptism, was given a resurrection dress to wear.  Clothed with Christ.  Gussied up, if you will for this life and for the next.  Like a warm winter wool dress from Talbot’s, Jesus has Dorothy all wrapped up.  He is the outfit that she was given to wear.  To protect her from sin’s icy sting of death.


Everything that Jesus did to win her salvation on the cross He gave to her or “clothed” her in Holy Baptism, namely, His Good Friday forgiveness, life and salvation.  “Clothed” already with Jesus in Baptism, Dorothy looks marvelous – stunning – in God’s eyes!


So when Jesus, like at Lazarus’ tomb, gives the command:  “Wake up sleepy heads!  Time to get up out of bed!  Arise!” His words will do what they say on the Last Day and her Baptism will come to complete fruition.


At His command Dorothy will be “clothed” with the imperishable.  “Clothed” with immortality.  Her body will be raised that way.


All because Jesus shares His victory over death and the grave with His sinners!


All because Jesus pulled off an Easter Sunday and “swallowed up death” in His victory!


He’s a bigger Savior than we ever imagined.  For this life.  And for the next.  His resurrection vindicates His death for you.  It’s God’s seal of approval on Calvary.  That you truly are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.  That His Blood really does cleanse you from all sin.  God isn’t angry with you.  Instead, He is most pleased with you for Jesus’ sake who has risen from the dead.


What Jesus did He did for you.  He did for Dorothy.  It counts for you.  He’s the “firstfruits of them that sleep.”   Our loved ones sleep in the cemeteries. They sleep safely in Jesus.  And because Jesus bodily rose they too have the promise that they will rise on the Last Day.  Dressed with imperishability.  With immortality.


Jesus alone can be trusted with your death.  He alone can be trusted with your resurrection.  For He is the resurrection and the life!  This is His promise for you to believe.  After all, our bodies grow older, more diseased, and die a little bit every day. And then the day will come for our funeral and internment.  Therefore, we are given the Lord’s Word.  His promise.


On the Last Day Jesus will raise our bodies from the dead.  The bodies for which He died and rose.  The bodies He baptized and on which He put His holy Name.  The bodies He fed with His most holy body and blood.


On that Last Day He will raise Dorothy’s body.  He will raise your lowly body.  Change them.  Imperishable, immortal bodies!  Then we will stand before the world.  In those glorified bodies He’ll reveal with what you and Dorothy have always been “clothed”:  Christ’s Good Friday dying and Easter Sunday rising.


“Then the saying that is written will come true:  Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 


“Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”


In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

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