Words at a Grave

Rosemary Ellen Carter

Graveside Committal Service

New London Friends Cemetery

9/20/16

 grandma-carter

We come now to this place where so many of our ancestors have been laid to rest in order to commend the soul of our sister, sister-in-law, mom, mother-in-law, grandma, great-grandma, and friend to Almighty God as we commit her body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

 

The reason why we have profound sadness in our hearts right now is because we know it wasn’t meant to be this way.  Tragically, sin entered our world, and death through sin (Rom. 5:12).

 

But the great reality that gives hope is that God has entered this world, in the person of Jesus Christ.  He took on our flesh; and then took on the sin of all those who are united to him by faith and graciously paid the penalty for that sin in his death on the cross.  He was buried.  And then three days later his body came back to life never to die again.  He ascended into heaven and has promised to come again one day to finally put everything right.

 

Grandma repented of her sin and put her trust in Christ as her Savior, therefore we can have assurance that though her soul is absent from her body, it is present with the Lord at this moment (2Cor. 5:8).  And one day at Christ’s return her soul will be reunited to this body and she will rise to live forever in a new creation with God where he shall wipe away all tears and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things will have passed away (Rev. 21:4).  Therefore, we do not have to sorrow as others who have no hope (1Thess. 4:13).

 

Grandma wanted Jesus’ words from John 14 to be read on this occasion.  It was a favorite passage of hers that perfectly puts this scenario into perspective for all of us.  Jesus said to his disciples:

 

Let not your hearts be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said unto him, Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?  Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me.

 

God has told us very clearly the way to be with him forever.  Praise God for this!

 

Let us pray:

 

Into thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant Rosemary Ellen Carter.  Acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming.  Receive her into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light.  Amen.

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