Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

20 January 2016

Funeral Sermon: Forgotten and Remembered

Preached on Psalm 25
The Funeral of Hattie Mae Shelton
20 January AD 2016

Title: Forgotten and Remembered (MP3 Audio)

Sharp Mind Summary: Today, I preached the funeral of a woman who died deep in the clutches of Alzheimer’s Disease. The fear of developing such dementia makes many people nervous. Christians can be particularly concerned about themselves and their loved ones, since throughout Scripture, the Lord has called us to remember Him, His works, and His Word.

If we suffer from dementia, how will we remember our Savior when we can’t remember the names of wife, children, or even self? How will we recall and cling to His promises of salvation and eternal life when we can’t recall what we just said? When our world turns entirely into phantom memories and fractured thoughts, how will we lean upon Jesus Christ, the unshakable Rock?

It’s possible that we could forget all of the Church’s statements of faith, including the Ecumenical Creeds and the Catechisms. The day might come when we can no longer say with the Psalmist, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. (Psalm 77:11)” We might not be able to say or comprehend even the most simple confession, that “Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:11)”

However, none of the saints will be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus because of fading memory and dulled comprehension. Faithful to us, Jesus will keep us “faithful unto death” and, remembering to call us home, He will give us each “the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)”

Thus we celebrate God’s wonderful remembrance of us. Yet His Word reveals something else just as vital — His forgetfulness: God maintains total amnesia about our sinfulness. Not only does He graciously forgive us, He also refuses to recall any transgressions in thought, word, or deed. Through Jeremiah, He said of His people, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (31:34)”

Summary excerpted and adapted from the Ask the Pastor article Remembering and Forgetting: Christians with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dull Minded Text: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. Psalm 25

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Forgotten and Remembered.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

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Blogger Judy said...

Exactly right! Alzheimer's runs in my family. Had a few experiences. As I told my children, " It doesn't matter if I don't know who you are, you know who I am". Jesus knows who we are! And you would be surprise when you sing a hymn or recite a favorite verse or prayer, you see their lips move.

January 22, 2016 at 8:24 AM  

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