05 October 2016

From Mourning To Dancing!

Sarah Jane Mouer
April 20, 1923 - September 25, 2016
A eulogy I delivered at my grandmother's memorial service on September 29, 2016.

Good morning. On behalf of the family, I'd like to thank all of you for being here today. You honor my grandmother with your presence. And you honor us. 
I have many specific and vivid memories involving my grandmother, who I called Nana. Although I’m not a talker like she was, I could share stories until long after you’ve grown tired of hearing them. She was a very “hands-on” grandmother. When I was a kid, she was always very involved in the things I liked to do, from playing ping-pong and board games to cheering us on w/ her cowbell from the porch as we lit fireworks on New Year’s Eve. When I was a young adult, she was always interested in the things that interested me, namely the friends I brought back to Waynesboro to visit, each of whom I reached out to when my dad shared the news of her passing on Sunday; and all of whom had very specific things to say about how she took a liking to them and how she treated them, using words like “warmth,” “kindness,” “beautiful life,” “strong,” “sweet,” “Godly woman,” “wonderful,” “welcoming,” “loving,” and “quite the character.” And now as an adult with a family, Nana took an immediate liking to (and gave her unqualified approval of) Angie as my wife and savored the fact that she lived long enough to see God bless Angie and I with two children.

A general observation that comes to mind is that Nana’s spunky, light-hearted personality was the perfect complement to my grandfather’s more reserved, serious and contemplative nature. You didn’t have to know a lot about love to understand the special relationship that Nana and Pop Pop shared. Point in fact, when I told my son, who recently turned 6, that Nana had died, his response was: “I bet she’s having a good time with Pop Pop.”
So a 6-yr old figured out they had something special; and that’s in limited visits to Waynesboro from our home in Harrisburg. The legacy of their sacred love, based on the foundation of Christ's love for us, has reached three full generations. Incredible!!

“I bet she’s having a good time with Pop Pop.”

There's another truth embedded in that statement from my son. And, believe it or not, its even more important than an earthy love between Pop Pop and Nana. 

You see, this statement speaks directly to the hope that Nana had b/c of her faith in Christ. A hope that death is not complete; that death is not the end. But rather, a new beginning. A gift of grace to live as God fully intended us to live.
Let me just flesh that out a bit. So there's this one time in the ministry of Jesus where he's preaching and healing in Jerusalem – doing all these amazing things. The Jewish leaders catch wind of what's going on and they confront him, charging him with heresy against God. But Jesus doesn't back down. In fact, he turns up the heat. This is just a small part of his response:

 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, for they have already passed from death into life." [John 5:24]
Did you catch that? Those who believe in God have passed from death to life. So Nana hasn't just passed away. No...She's passed from death to life. From darkness to light. From pain to perfect healing. From seeing in part, to seeing in full. From mourning to dancing!

You know what? I too believe Nana's having a good time with Pop Pop and Jesus!
I stood in this very spot almost 2 years ago during Pop Pop's funeral and talked about a choice he had made many years ago. That was the choice of life. The choice to believe in God and walk in His ways. Nana certainly made that same choice. It's a choice we're all given the opportunity to make.  If it's not one you've made yet, I pray that Father God would touch your heart right now and that you would believe. Reading from the Gospel of John:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, or of human decision, but born of God. [John 1:12-13]
Today, may you truly know Father's great love for you! Amen.

Sarah Jane Mouer Obituary

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