Saturday, January 7, 2017

For Tom

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

The Lord is in His holy temple, I bid your silence: we are on holy ground, this is holy ground, we are in a holy place, liminal, thin space, a threshold joining heaven and earth. We are gathered in the Name of Jesus Christ, and He is present in the midst of us, blessing us as we claim the promise of God and commend Tom Sale into the Everlasting Arms.  

In John’s gospel we heard the blessed assurance as Jesus tells us “Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: I go to prepare a place for you And I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” These are promises, divine promises, the gospel truth, we have God’s Word on it; and with many who’ve known and loved Tom in this life, I stand here this afternoon, a personal witness who, for more than eighty years of our lifetime, from when we were small boys in church together, and all our growing up years in church and school and life, I’ve known Tom Sale as a servant of God, who only this past Sunday in my presence at his hospital bedside, professed his faith in Jesus Christ and his reliance on the love of God the Father. 

Now, Gerry and the family wanted this to be short, and I mean to honor that. And so with faith, confidence and blessed assurance I say, Tom,

Farewell, Christian soul: you leave this world
    In the Name of God the Father who created you;
    In the Name of God the Son who redeemed you;
    In the Name of God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
May your resting place be forever in the paradise of God.
May your company be His saints and holy angels.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you 
    and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
    and give you peace,
    throughout the ages of ages. Amen.

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And now, as you remain seated, or stand, or kneel, in peace let us pray to the Lord. 

Short funeral homily for Tom Sale
Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Panama City, Florida
Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Rev Tom Weller

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