Three months ago today, we committed John’s body to the grave. Three days ago I came across these notes to the sermon he preached at his mother’s funeral in 2014. They are just rough notes without the polish and poise of actual delivery, but I found comfort in his insights and I hope you will too. I have also attached a link to the video of Seongho and Ariana Choi singing “It Is Well with My Soul” at John’s memorial service and a link to the video of his graveside service where the Lasseter family lovingly led us all in singing “10,000 Times 10,000” and “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” Anniversaries will come and go; some will be noted and some will not. But I’m grateful God keeps his truths in front of us as we navigate the passage of time.
Dorothy Geiger Memorial Message
Introduction: I remember, as a child, my mother’s prediction of my going into the ministry. I did not let her know of my inner scoffing at this. (The ministry was not high on my childhood list of careers). However, years later, she was right, and here I am bringing you a scriptural message at her funeral.
Dorothy Jean Geiger had the ability to see people as more than they were. She had the ability to see life as more than it was. These insights of hers have been affectionately called “Dorothy-isms.” After this service, at our luncheon, you will have a chance to share these “Dorothy-isms” or any other messages you have for her friends and family.
However, at this moment, I will spend our time together helping us to see more than there appears to be. Death is not the final reality. There is more. This hope is not wishful thinking as science and psychology tell us. This is a reality which has been spoken by God Himself, and His words were sealed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What is Man?
·Psalm 139 – Fearfully and wonderfully made.
·Gen. 2:26 – Made in God’s image
·Man is beautiful; a lover of people, nature and ideas; man is a builder and creator; man is a caretaker; man is a chooser. Man is amazing.
·Dorothy/Mom/Grandma was fearfully and wonderfully made. She made us think, laugh, feel loved and special, and she made us care about the important things in life.
·Yet, Man is broken. His choice led to rebellion against God. Man is physically and spiritually dead.
·The Lust of the Eyes / Lust of the Flesh / Boastful Pride of Life have left him hopelessly a dead man.
·With all of her goodness, Dorothy was still broken. She sinned. She needed a savior.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
There is a gift of eternal life . . . even though human beings are spiritually dead and will physically die, there is the gift of eternal life.
Dorothy Geiger had this gift.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, God was graciously passing this gift to the Geiger household. Dorothy and Robert were born again during this time. Their sons have their stories of how God met them during this time. God is so kind not to leave us spiritually dead.
Grandchildren and great-grandchildren, friends — Dorothy cared about you. She wanted you to be spiritually alive as well. You probably recall some conversation she had with you about this. We are all physically alive, but how do we know if we are all spiritually alive? How does that happen?
Jesus had a conversation about this with a man. The conversation went like this:
JESUS: “Now, I really mean what I am about to say, unless you are born again, you will not go to heaven.”
THE MAN: “How can this be? Does a person have to go into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?”
JESUS: “Don’t be silly; flesh gives birth to flesh. Spirit gives birth to spirit. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”
Hebrews 2:14-15 – “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus Himself likewise also took on the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 3:3 – “But God showed his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
·God gave you the miracle of physical birth.
·God gives you the miracle of spiritual birth.
·Turn around from running away from God and turn towards running to him. Join Jesus in his death on the cross for your sins. Join Jesus in his resurrection from the dead.
And now, we have Dorothy Geiger’s body which physically died at 8:20 PM, Thursday, November 6th. This body will be placed in the ground Wednesday. We grieve. We hurt. We hate this rotten enemy called death. So, what happens to her body? We don’t want any guessing right now. This is a time for truth. We need information about what happens at death. We need information that we can trust. This is a time for us to know what God has told us in the Scriptures. We must hold on to these truths when we grieve, hurt, cry, and long for her to be with us once again.
Here are several truths right from Scripture:
2 Corinthians 5:8 – “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Where is Dorothy’s spirit? With the Lord.
I Thessalonians 4:13-14 – “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Rev. 21:1-5; Rev. 22:1-5
And so, physical death is a tearing apart of the spirit from the body. Only God can put it back together. He will do this when Jesus returns. Right now, he is caring for Dorothy’s spirit in his presence. She is happy, joyful, and peaceful.
Spiritual death is the tearing of the spirit from a relationship with God. Only God can put it back together. He did this when Jesus came to earth, died for our sins and rose from the dead. Now He calls us to repent from sin and believe in his work on our behalf.
Dorothy is ahead of us on this. She is now waiting for the resurrection of the dead. Let us faithfully live in Christ until our deaths or his return.
Beautiful, broken, repaired, resurrected — alive though we die. Indeed, death is not the final reality.
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
By John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more, Death, thou shalt die.