Isaiah tells us that, "On this mountain" all will be well. The promise from Isaiah is a source of hope for us gathered here. Later on, Jesus would allude to the fact that he is going to prepare a place for us. This, too, makes us a people of hope. Yet, the foundation of this hope is built upon the fact that we have been claimed by Christ through baptism which makes us heirs with Christ to the Kingdom. As we began today, we placed the pall on Dad's casket to remind us of his baptism. We also have the paschal candle lit next to the casket. It is a reminder to us of the Light of Christ in the world. At the Easter Vigil a fire is blessed and from that flame the paschal candle is lit. As we come into the church we proclaim and respond, "Christ, our light. Thanks be to God." The light fills the church. This light coming into the church is much like Christ illumining our souls at baptism. The darkness brought onto us through original sin is wiped away. We are claimed as "children of God". All of this leads to our hope for our own future.
As we say, "Good-bye" to Dad today we are filled with a sense of sadness. We are going to miss one who may have been a hunting buddy, a drinking partner, an uncle, a brother, a grandfather, or a dad. Yet, above all of this he was a child of God. So while we may experience some tears today we need to be filled with a sense of hope. We need to look to the future that has been promised to us.
During this season of Christmas, we celebrate the little child born of a virgin. We celebrate the fact that God took on our human naute so that he could die on the cross so that we could be saved through him.
I pray that we can all experience a sense of joy today as we look ahead to our future. Christ is the light that has come into our darkness, not only the darkness of sin, but also the darkness of our sorrow. Let Christ's light fill you with the hope of our salvation. As we say good-bye to Dad, pray with me that he may quickly come to see our God face-to-face and know the fullness of his glory.
+In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen