Wednesday, July 28, 2010

alondra's funeral

This afternoon was the funeral for baby Alondra.
She was 18 months old.
You can read her story here.

I'm not gonna lie, it was hard to attend this funeral.
To see that small wooden box and know a small fragile child was inside.
To hear the weeping and moaning of her parents.
To see friends gathered round lost in their emotions and hugs of others.

It is not natural. Death that is.
No parent should have to bury their child.


I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart
to those who willingly gave donations
to Alonzo and April to help with their funeral and other costs.
We were able to write them a check for $845, so THANKS!!!

I would LOVE it if you would sit back, get comfy
and read the words my husband spoke so eloquently
to this family at the funeral service.

I am so glad that I am not in his shoes,
that I don't have to prepare a sermon
for a family who just lost their baby.
I do not envy him AT ALL.

But let me tell you, he did an extraordinary job with this sermon.
The words he chose and how he crafted this sermon was definitely a God thing.
He spoke words that were given to Him by our Savior, Redeemer, God.

Please take the 5-10 minutes that it may take to read this sermon.
You will be changed, or at least challenged.
If you have any questions when you're done reading
feel free to leave them in the comments
and I'll have my hubby answer them later!

Go hug your kiddos and tell them how much you love them.

Life is fragile, but death is not final if you know Jesus as your Savior.

"Waiting For Jesus to Finish His Work” Mark 5:41-42

April, Alonzo, Carolina Maribel, extended family, dear friends, please pray with me:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Amen.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotion: confusion, denial, pain, anger, fear, and yes, even joy. Little Alondra had been so full of life, singing in the car, playing with her sister, riding on her horsey. And then, just hours later, little Alondra’s heart would no longer beat. Nothing could have prepared you for the events of that night. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. And yet, as you finally made it home in the wee hours of the morning, there was no denying it: death had raised its ugly head. And boy does it sting.

It would be insensitive for any of us to say that we know what you are going through right now, but we know that when man’s words are inadequate, God’s Word is what we need. And He has given us the story of a man who has something in common with you. It’s the story of Jairus, and he too had lost his daughter at a young age. We read his story in Mark, chapter 5:

While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Talitha cumi," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)

Jairus was helpless. His daughter was dying, so he ran to Jesus. Desperate for Jesus to do something, anything, Jairus went to the only man that he believed could do anything to help his dying daughter. But he was too late. “Your daughter is dead,” someone from his house yelled out. “Why trouble the Teacher any further?” I’ll tell you why. Because this teacher, Jesus Christ, has the power to bring life where death seems to have one the day. In fact, he had already begun to do this for Alondra.

The Scriptures tell us that mankind is conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity. As beautiful as a new-born-baby is, a new-born-baby is born dead in his or her trespasses. In other words, when Alondra was born 18 months ago, she was born in a helpless condition and was already in need of this teacher that has the power to bring life where there is death. And so, you did for the first time what Jairus did in the text. You brought her to Jesus. You brought little Alondra here to the baptismal font as in infant, where she received the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. It was right here, at this baptismal font, that Jesus began His good work in little Alondra, giving Her the very righteousness He had earned by having His sinless life ended on the cross. When Alondra was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ gave Alondra life where previously there had been darkness and death. Little Alondra was welcomed by her savior as a little child and so she inherited the Kingdom of God.

And yet, here we are. Today, like in Jairus’s day, there will come a voice that will make you wonder if indeed there is really any hope. “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any more?” Only this time the voice won’t come from the crowd, it will come from Satan, for he wants the wages of sin which we see right now with our very eyes to destroy the hope within our hearts. Satan knows that the sting of death is real, for when a child of God lies lifeless in our arms, it is really us that remain who are helpless.

You see, Alondra is secure, she had fallen asleep in Christ, and is now with Her Savior. She has departed from this valley of sorrows, and now simply lives in His perfect presence awaiting that day when He comes again to bring her body up out of the ground with all her brothers and sisters in Christ to enjoy their heavenly mansion where they will never again be plagued by death. St. Paul writes in Romans, chapter 14, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. The Lord had called her by name. Alondra was no longer helpless, for she was the Lord’s in her life, and today, in Her death, she is still the Lord’s.

You see, today’s sermon, and the prayers of your family and friends are not for little Alondra. They are for us who are left behind. Today, we are the helpless ones. It is us who today are like Jarius. It is us who today are in desperate need of what our great teacher, Jesus Christ, can give. Today, we cling to Jesus’ promises, and yet, we need Jesus to help the unbelief that still remains and which threatens to tear us apart. And so, He does.

You see, Jairus didn’t listen to that voice in the crowd, because Jesus wouldn’t let him, and today, you don’t have to listen to Satan’s voice either. Do not fear, my friends, believe. Believe that what Jesus did for that 12-year-old daughter of Jairus, Jesus will do for little Alondra and all who put their trust in Him. There is a day when every man or woman who has walked this earth will hear the blast of a trumpet, and will look to the heavens and see Jesus coming forth. On that day, little Alondra will have her body enlivened once again by the powerful spirit of God who long ago was breathed upon the valley of the dry bones and formed them into living and breathing bodies. Just as sure as we believe that what happened to Jairus really happened, so too can we trust that what God has promised for little Alondra will take place and she, like Job and all the rest of the flock of faith, will see their savior face to face, in the flesh, with new and glorified bodies.

The casket we see here today in our midst is not Alondra’s final resting place, and Jesus refuses to allow Satan to make you think that it is. In Jesus Christ, we have the hope of a resurrection. Jesus Christ walked out of His tomb on Easter Sunday, so that those who follow Him would not have their faith defeated by the sting of death. For all of God’s promises are yes in Christ Jesus, which is why St. Paul is able to say in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15: "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Thanks be to God, who gave Alondra the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Alonzo, April, family and friends, today is only the beginning. You have suffered a wound that will never completely heal. But don’t allow Satan to use it to destroy you. During those difficult days and nights, when you are helpless and are struggling to go on, do what Jairus did. Run to Jesus, for he is the teacher that helps the helpless, that comforts the grieving, and that turns death into life. Stay close to Jesus. Be where His powerful and life-givng Word is preached. Run to His table where he strengthens you with His body and blood. Run to Jesus, and it won’t just be Alondra who receives the victory. We’ll be joining her. For as St. Paul said, neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


7 comments:

Deidra Faith said...

I work in a daycare about 5 years ago, a little boy who was just days from his 1st birthday passed away unexpectedly. And it was such a hard funeral not only because he was a baby but because the family did NOT know Jesus. As hard as the situation was, what a blessing it must have been to be surrounded by all of you and know that they're baby was safe in Jesus' arms.

Jamie said...

Deidra, you're SO right. The only thing that would have made that funeral any harder was if the family did not know Jesus! Praise God for His unconditional love and His washing and re-birth in baptism!

Ann said...

God used your husband to give Alondra's family comfort, Praise the Lord! I agree with you, I would not have wanted to to have prepared that sermon. Thank God for the Holy spirit for His guidance. If if were not for Him we all would be so lost at times like these.

2 years ago my life was turned upside down. My 13 old brother passed away without warning. He was here on day and gone the next. My brother was only a year older than my son. That same year we had so many love ones pass on. It was a very devastating and depressing time. Jesus was the only one who seen all of us though those times.

As people we want to know WHY God?? Why?? We just have to learn to trust Him and know that everything He does, He has a plan and purpose for everything. Even when times are tough He never leaves us.

I will continue to keep Alondra's family in prayer. I know some of there darkest hours are yet to come. Thank the Lord they can rejoice that there baby is now with the Lord.

Sabrina Weidner said...

As I sit here holding and nursing my 6 week old in tears, I thank God for the blessings he has given me and my family. I will pray that Alondra's family has peace and comfort in Jesus during these hard times to come. The Lord spoke beautifuly through Greg. What a challenging job as a Pastor. Wow! Blessings to you and your family.

Cranberry Morning said...

That was just an excellent sermon your husband preached to that grieving family and friends. A reminder to us all to cling to Jesus in all times, and that life will bring difficult times to us all. But our hope is in Jesus who brought victory over death.

Kandyce said...

Death is unnatural and painful for those who are left behind, but it is wondeful to be reminded by God's word that death is not fearful for those who know Christ! I pray that all families that grieve can know the peace of Christ.

KaylaDanielle said...

That sermon had me in tears.. it was beautiful!