Tuesday, 2 April 2013

More Than Enough: a Short Funeral Homily with reference to John 14:1-6—for Dona Stimson

If I could pick a week for my funeral, this would be it. The first week of Eastertide. Its daylight in the swamp, folks! The week after the biggest day in the Christian year, celebrating the biggest, best, most amazing, most awesome, most positive event in the history of the world, the Resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Saviour. This, and all Christian churches exist because of it. This ceremony is being held here because of it. There are not just tears and despair here because of it. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, death has lost its sting, in the midst of death and grief, there is joy and hope and new life to which we can look forward. All because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That’s why Jesus said, “Don't let your hearts be troubled,” (John 14:1) to his disciples in the reading we just heard from John. “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.” (John 14:2) More than enough room for Dona, and for you and me, if we want some. More than enough because Jesus knew that Eastertide was coming. More than enough, because, as is proclaimed and celebrated in Christian churches like this one around the world every Sunday—and especially last Sunday—Jesus rose from the dead. More than enough, as Jesus also said, to make it possible for Dona and for you and me to be with him always where he is—where every day is better than hotdog Wednesday and the clocks never have to change and we'll always wake up in our own beds just like at Grandma's house.

It sounds as if Dona knew something of more than enough—more than enough to do, for one thing, what with 5 kids, 18 grandchildren and 31 grandchildren. And, not only that, as the obituary in The News says, there were her annual bumper crops, family gatherings and winning at cards! As the obituary also says, she was a provider of more than enough food because “no one ever left the ranch on an empty stomach.”

Which brings me back to the empty tomb, Jesus, and the more than enough room there is for us where he now is in all his Resurrection glory.

Jesus is the only one in whose heart there was enough room to die for all of humankind—including Dona, you and me, even for his enemies. His heart is also the only one with enough room to carry us all to his Father’s home when the time comes where nobody ever has to cry themselves to sleep—more than enough room—way more than the Manyberries Hilton!

How do you and I prepare ourselves to be ready, so that he will come and get us when our time comes‚ especially, if like Thomas, we don’t know, or have forgotten, or are simply ignoring the way to the place Jesus tells us about?

Jesus tells us in the reading. “Trust in God and trust also in me.” (John 14:1) and “I am the way, the truth and the life,” Jesus says, “No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus is the way. There are more than enough stories in the Bible about how to live a roomy life. Follow his example. Jesus is the truth. There is more than enough about that truth in the Scriptures. Jesus is the life. His heart on earth now beats in his body the Church. There is more than enough room in it for you and me.

Thanks to the more than enough Jesus represents, Dona Stimson’s life and your good memories of her, you have this opportunity to consider these things and whether to act on them this Eastertide.