Friday, August 21, 2020

Christian Funeral for Doris Mae Pries


Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:1-6; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

“For everything there is a season.” What an appropriate Scripture for Doris, who loved gardening, nature, and animals more than anything else in God’s creation. In the Spring she tilled the soil and planted her seeds and starts. In the Summer she watered and weeded and fertilized the growing plants. In the Fall she dead-headed and harvested her well-tended crop. And, in the Winter, she put her beds to rest, awaiting the resurrection and new life when the warmth of Spring would begin to release Winter’s icy grip on the world. “A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” “A time to be born, and a time to die.” And, what is true for plants, and animals, and all living things, is, sadly, true for us as well. Doris’ season has passed. Her time to die has come. Our time to mourn has come. But, let not your hearts be troubled. Spring is just around the corner, and there will be a time to laugh, a time to dance, and a time to embrace yet again.

Doris came of age in the years following the Great Depression. That has an impact on a person. She kept everything! That means a lot of work for all of you, now. But, it is a precious work, isn’t it? Because, she kept photos, and newspaper clippings, and awards, and, well, everything! Doris was the family historian and a genealogist’s dream come true! Not surprisingly, she and Harold loved antiques: Antique tractors, antique cars, even antique lawn mowers! Antique Acres was a favorite haunt for many years; Doris even worked the souvenir booth. Doris also had the Depression ethic of hard work and helping others. She was a tireless worker, taking care of parents, cleaning homes for others, helping elderly people to carry on. She could make friends with anyone, but she had a special place in her heart for those unfortunate souls who needed a friend, both two-legged and four.

Doris and Harold were married sixty-six years and they had a daughter and a son who were there pride and joy. Four grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren, made a sweet thing all the sweeter. Ironically it was a fall that brought Doris to Bartels, and it was a fall that caused her to leave for her heavenly home with Jesus. But, her years there were not spent in vain. Doris was active and involved at Bartels playing bingo, participating in the bell choir and other activities and functions. She never missed Thursday morning chapel, which is where I got to meet Doris, though she was typically the last to arrive at 10:02 – Doris time. Doris was friendly as always and was well-liked by both residents and staff. In her last years dementia began to chip away at her, making it difficult to have a conversation, but photos of flowers in Kelly’s garden brought a smile to her face and connected with the Doris dementia couldn’t take away. She missed her cats while at Bartels – and, no doubt, they missed her! The staff at Bartels gave Doris a little stuffed cat that she kept with her through all her recent travails, until the end; and it’s with her still. In her life Doris fed and cared for the neighborhood cats and built shelters for them. She prepared a place for them because she loved them, just as Jesus loved Doris and prepared a place for her in His Father’s house. He has taken her there and she is safe and at peace. Let not your hearts be troubled.

Doris was God’s own child. She was baptized into Christ Jesus whose innocent blood cleansed her of all her sins. The Holy Spirit created faith in her heart and sustained her faith throughout her life. She was cared for and nourished on the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper in the Church. Now she has fallen asleep in Jesus. Let not your hearts be troubled. You will see her again. You see, that is the great promise and hope we have in Christ: Those who die in the Lord will be raised to new life that cannot die. Our comfort and hope is not only in the truth that Doris is with Jesus now in rest and peace – for she is! – but our comfort and hope is in that yet more glorious day, the day of resurrection, when Doris, and all the saints, will be raised and their glorified bodies reunited with their immortal souls to live with God, Father, Son, and Spirit forever. Then, you will see Doris with your own flesh and blood eyes, hear her with your own flesh and blood ears, and embrace her with your own flesh and blood arms once again, and no one will take that joy from you.

But, now is a time for Doris to rest in the presence of Jesus her Lord. Now is a time to weep and mourn. However, the day to laugh and dance is coming soon. Let not your hearts be troubled. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Believe in God; believe also in Him.

In the + Name of Jesus. Amen.

No comments: