+In Memoriam – Beverly Krueger - June 6, 1931 – September 4, 2013 +Revelation 21:1-7
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.I didn’t have the joy of knowing Bev until the end of her life. But from what I’ve heard she had enough spunk and energy to power all of Southern California if you could just find a way to harness it all. Well, we may have never been successful at finding a way to do it, but our Lord sure was. After all, everything we love and cherish about Bev – all those dear memories and moments growing up, growing old, and growing together – are all a gift from Christ.
And so our Lord took Bev’s vivaciousness and used it in service to others, whether it was at church or home, with the neighbors or even complete strangers. No one Bev met left untouched by her joy. And that too is a gift from Christ. Christ was and is her Joy of joys, her Hope of hopes, her King of kings, and the great Captain of her salvation.
She loved much because she was forgiven much. Bev always loved children so much because she herself is a beloved Child of our Heavenly Father. In Baptism Christ declared to Bev, “You are my dear child, I gladly say it. You belong to me now and forever. Fear not your life’s end… for I am the first and the last; I am the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Rev. 1:17-18). Jesus is Bev’s Alpha and Omega, her beginning and her end and her new beginning in the resurrection.
Jesus’ words from Revelation remind me of a conversation Al and I had last week. He told me about his last words with Bev. They said their ABC’s, and when she got to the last part of the Alphabet she said, “X Y Z…I love you.”And in Holy Baptism that is precisely what Jesus has said to Bev and to all who are called as his children in those holy waters. Christ is your Alpha and your Omega, your beginning and your end and your new beginning in the resurrection. Though weeping may tarry for the night; joy comes in the morning.
You see, for the Christian, death is not the end. For it was not the end of Christ. Christ took all the sin that we and the world could throw at him and he nailed it to the cross, buried it in his tomb, and that’s the end of your sin. And the beginning of your life. Christ died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. In Christ’s death your death is defeated. Death no longer has dominion over him, or Bev or you. In Christ’s death, Bev now rests safely until the day of resurrection. In Christ’s death, you rest today in peace and comfort even as you grieve. Death and resurrection.That is the way of our Lord, the way of his saints, like Bev who now rests asleep in Jesus until the day of resurrection. We long for that day. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. What a happy, joyous day that will be. A day where we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who have died in the faith. A day when tears and sorrow and death will be no more. There will simply be life. Life for Bev. Life for you. Life in Christ. No more endings. Only an everlasting beginning.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 21:1-7)