A funeral prayer

I offered the following prayer at a funeral today. The prayer reflects our ultimate Christian hope, not merely for life after death, but for life after life after death—or resurrection.

Eternal God, you give us the gift of life. You sustain our lives by your Spirit at every moment. And when our days in this world are finished, you receive us into your presence and prepare us for the world to come. You do this out of that same love by which you came to us in your Son Jesus, that same love that destroyed the power of sin on the cross, that same love that defeated death in resurrection, that same love from which neither death nor life, nor nor anything else in all creation can ever separate us, that same love that our brother Dave can now experience in all its fullness.

We thank you for the blessing of Dave’s life. We thank you that through his life you have helped to make us into the people that we are today. We thank you that we are better people today because you shared his life with us. For that we are grateful.

We are grateful, but we are also profoundly sad. We have lost so much. Comfort us and all who mourn with us. Strengthen us during this difficult season. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may understand that while Dave is lost to us for a time, he isn’t lost to you.

As your Spirit bears witness with our spirit, give us the assurance that, through our own faith and baptism, we, your beloved children, will be reunited with Dave in resurrection.

We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

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