My Friend and brother in Christ, Jason LaLonde passed away this past Saturday. His memorial service is tomorrow in Houston. I won’t be able to be there in person but if I were this is what I would share at the Service:
We’re here today, together, to tie a final bow around a precious gift of life. This gift was a person, Jason Lalonde, created in the image and likeness of God – one utterly unique and significant human life. And today, we gather to hold the memorialize this amazing life commit his life as a gift back to God. We gather, too, to worship the living God – the one who is Lord of life and of death, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to that day when God will wipe every tear from our eyes as death – the final enemy is defeated by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with [mankind], and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
John Chapter 11
32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Wept…this is a peculiar verse. Have you ever pondered why did Jesus weep? It was His delay that ensured the death and He knew that He would perform a miracle in moments. It was an act of compassion because Jesus stood in front of the tomb and felt the sting and stench of death. From the Genesis One Creators perspective death is evil and wrong! He wept because that body was never meant to taste death! He wept because we have a High Priest who knows our sufferings. God hates death! He loves life! Let us take comfort in knowing that even when we can’t understand how it fits in the scheme of things ultimately it was never God’s intention.
There are five aspects to this bow: Remembrance, honor, learning, loving, and living.
We gather to put our arms around one another, as grief has reached into our lives. We gather with broken hearts to do our grief work to the end that we might discover both comfort and courage. And we gather to celebrate the life of Jason Lalonde.
Death, in its untimely way has come to dwell among us. But we have this hope: Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we too, all who believe in Him, will also rise again.
1 Cor 15:20-26
… Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”
Today, may we all find His comfort, His peace, His strength, His grace, and His love. For …
We are much like the child who climbs up into Daddy’s arms after an accident on the playground, the pain is sill there but there is comfort as well, because of Daddy’s presence. Our pain is real, but we can lean back into the loving arms of God the Father, and find comfort there.
The ancient people of God describe His comfort in this way: “He who dwells in the secret place of the most high, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. We will say of the Lord, He is our refuge, and fortress; Our God, in Him we trust.” (Ps.91)
Today we will wrap our gift in remembrance: The LORD saw fit to give Jason’s life to us for 42 years. His family has a son, a brother and a hope of reunion.
We will wrap our gift in honor because God created Jason Lalonde in his own image, in his own likeness. God gave him a human spirit, and personality.
We will wrap our gift in learning, for life’s lessons go deeper and last longer when we face the finality of death. We will wrap our gift in love as we see again how precious the relationships we share.
And finally, we will wrap our gift in life. There is no greater turning point in life but that which causes us to take inventory of our own life and ask, “How are we living?” “How will we leave this earth?”
So today, we look on with remembrance, honor, learning, loving, and living.
Let’s have a moment of silent prayer and thanks to the LORD for giving this life even so briefly to our family… “Earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust; we look for that day when all who sleep will rise in the world to come before the glorious majesty to judge the world. The earth and the sea hall give up their dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in Him shall be changed, and made like unto his own glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself.”
The prophet said: “I heard a voice from Heaven, saying unto me, write: from this day forward blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: even so says the Spirit for they rest from their labors.”
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.