21 October 2014

Choose Life

Earl William Mouer
May 21, 1922 - October 12, 2014

A eulogy I delivered at my Grandfather's funeral on October 17, 2014 

On behalf of the family, I'd like to thank all of you for being here today. You honor my grandfather with your presence. You honor my grandmother with your presence. And you honor us.
As I was thinking about what to share this morning, many things came to mind. In fact, it was hard to shut the thoughts down and equally hard to choose a particular route to take.
I could share with you some favorite memories like how he taught me to use his riding mower, how Nana & Pop Pop included me in trips to Merrill Lynch after I expressed an interest in the stock market, Pop Pop holding my son shortly after his birth or Nana and Pop Pop calling on my birthday most years to sing “Happy Birthday.”
I could tell you about some of the stories from the “old days” he shared with me like borrowing a dump truck, driving it up to the mountain and collecting stones that he later used build his brother's house or how, after taking a train from Boston to Harrisburg, he hitched a ride (or two) from Harrisburg to Waynesboro to see Nana on a long weekend break from the Navy.
I could tell of Pop Pop's great kindness, gentleness, wisdom, good-natured spirit and his servant heart, but I suspect all of you have experienced that yourselves or you wouldn't be here today. 
But the thing I landed on, the thing I believe the Lord has placed on my heart to share with you today is about a choice Pop Pop made many years ago. As you can imagine, he must have made thousands of choices over his 92 years here on this earth, but the most important, the most enduring, was his decision to choose life.
Yes...Pop Pop chose life!  
And here's what I mean by that...reading from God's word in the Old Testament – this is the Lord speaking through Moses to his chosen people, the Israelites:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. [Deuteronomy 30:19-20]
In the greater design of God's redemptive plan, this life is ultimately offered through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In fact, Jesus later proclaimed:  
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [John 14:6]
God's word further tells us that once we decide to choose life, that we are a new creation -- our very identities no longer tied to sin and death, but to Christ and life. And through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and by the grace of God, we are then called to demonstrate that new life to those around us. To demonstrate Christ's love to this broken world. 
And that's what each one of you who knew Pop Pop experienced in your interactions with him – the love of Christ. He would be the first to tell you that the many attributes one could use to describe him were the direct result of Christ's work on the cross and in his heart 
And the good news is that choice, that offer of life, is available to each one of us, in whatever circumstances we currently find ourselves. If it’s something you're interested in knowing more about please talk with Pastor Gentry or any one of us family members.
One last thought...
It's because of Pop Pop's choice of life that we are able to know with certainty that he has not simply died, but rather passed to this eternal glory in Heaven. Finally home in the arms of his Heavenly Father!! 
So Pop Pop, today I join with your family here to give you a final thank you for choosing life. For laying a solid foundation for us. We all love Jesus based largely on your testimony and faithfulness to God over the many years we all shared together.

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