Norma Jean Reinke Funeral
Wednesday of Second-Last Sunday Trinity Lutheran Church
16 November 2016 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Funeral of Norma Jean Reinke
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
My how things change. And quite quickly. Faster than you could have ever imagined. In August you and your mother are saying goodbye to Dad, attending his funeral and tucking him into his grave here at Trinity to wait for the resurrection of the body on the Last Day. Now, here we all are. Just a few short months later. Mom’s funeral. Mom’s burial.
You were anticipating many more years with your Mom. Listening to her read books to Anna. Showing Anna how to plant flowers, pick tomatoes and watch humming birds, blue jays and cardinals flit and flitter by her birdfeeders outside the big south picture window at the farm. Attending Kailyn’s high school graduation. Having the joy of seeing perhaps a couple of weddings – you know — Kailyn marrying some hunk Brad Pitt-like boyfriend and Eric taking some Kate Upton lookalike to be his wife. (Can you imagine what your grandmother would say in her smart aleck way?)
Some of you wanted to play a whole heck of a lot more of Rummikube and other games with Jeanie. Others wanted more of her canned vegetables or fruits from her garden and fruit trees. Many of Trinity’s members were expecting to see her Sunday after Sunday enjoying the sermon and hungering to eat and drink the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. I, of course, because she always told me she was looking for something to do, wanted her to move in with Robin and I so that she could pull our weeds, tend our garden and mow our lawn! And I’m sure Rhonda had tons of laminated school stuff for her Mom to cut out and organize for her school kids.
Again, all that has changed. So now it’s time to hear the Lord’s Word once again. Let Him have the say so. Let Him speak His promises. After all, He’s the one who pulled off a Good Friday to atone for all our sin and Jeanie’s sin. He’s the one who insisted on going the way of the cross to shed His divine blood as the only sacrifice that answers for all our sin and for every sinner. He is the one who is the Resurrection and the Life. He bolted from the grave on the third day. Death and the grave could not hold Him! Death and the grave do not have the last word. Jesus does. And He says that He is “the resurrection and the life.” He says that, “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mk 16:16). He says that whoever “believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,” (Jn 11:25-26).
Because of Jesus — because of His Good Friday death and Easter Morning resurrection – everything has changed. For the good! For your eternal good! After all, Jesus is Lord. Lord for you. Lord for Jeanie. So, get ready for another huge change. It will happen on the Last Day. Listen to what St. Paul writes: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.” And notice how quickly! “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.” When? “At the last trumpet.” That’s Judgment Day! “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable and we will all be changed.” The perishable will be clothed with the imperishable – the mortal with immortality. This is the resurrection of the body!
On the Last Day when you hear the trumpet Jesus will say: “Time to wake up my redeemed ones! Look what my Good Friday forgiveness gives you! See what it means that I am the resurrection and the life for you! Behold I give you resurrected bodies that will live forever with me in my Father’s mansion of heaven!”
Imagine what Jeanie will say about that! About an imperishable, without corruption, never-to-die-again-body! No doubt something like this: “Well Jesus! That was fast!” Or: “It’s about time!” No, even better! She’ll probably say with her typical sense of humor: “I really look good! Kim Kardashian good!” To which Jesus will no doubt respond with a wink in His eye: “What I redeem and resurrect is always VERY GOOD!” And we’ll all have a great laugh because it will be so true. I can just see the smile on Jeanie’s face.
In the meantime, until the Last Day when Jesus gives His believers resurrected bodies fit for eternal life, your Mom and Dad enjoy a happy reunion in heaven. They enjoy the wedding supper of the Lamb. With the great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language they stand before the throne and in front of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus, and cry out: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb,” (Rev 7:10).
Randy and Rhonda, you too join in that praise of Jesus every time you go to church and receive the Lord’s Supper. Right before you receive the Lamb’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper – you stand before the Lamb, the Lord Jesus, and you sing with all the angels, archangels and all the company of heaven (that includes Paul and Jeanie):
Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of pow’r and might:
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. (LSB, Sanctus, 161)
Indeed. Jesus who comes in the Lord’s Supper to give the very forgiveness He won for all and for Jeanie on the cross, will on the Last Day give her and all believers the final fruit of that Good Friday forgiveness: THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY!
Job preached it. “I know that my Redeemer lives and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God,” (Job 19:25-26). So did Paul. “We will all be changed – in a flash … the dead will be raise imperishable.” So too Jesus! “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
What joy! We so look forward to seeing all this with our eyes! What a wonderful change that will be. And how quickly it will happen. How did Paul say it? Yes, that’s right! “In a flash. In the twinkling of an eye.”
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the Name of Jesus.