Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
June 19, 2008
Funeral Homily for Gloria Marie Rushing
For an audio MP3 of this sermon, CLICK HERE
TITLE: “The Way, the Truth and the Life”
Family and friends of Gloria, grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Our text for today is from the Gospel of St. John chapter fourteen as follows, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)
Gloria Marie Ricchio Rushing was born on September 12, 1932. She was baptized into the Holy Christian Church at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Union Grove. She was confirmed in that same Christian faith here at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on February 28, 1965. She joined Messiah Lutheran Church in 1969, where she remained a member until after her daughter, Debra, was confirmed. Gloria died in Christ on June 13, 2008.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the way things ought to be. How does God intend the world to be? No sin, no sickness, no disease, no family fighting, no Alzheimer’s or dementia. No untimely deaths. No divorce. No pain. But God’s intention isn’t that we just be without things. No, our heavenly Father wants our joy to be full in Him. He wants us to be in Him, and to live and rejoice in the salvation that God’s Son, Jesus, won for us on the cross and in the empty tomb. God wants you to live and to rejoice in Him forever.
But of course, that isn’t life, is it? Gloria had her fair share of trials in her life. Sickness, especially a dreadful disease like Alzheimer’s, sucked much of the life out of her. I won’t claim that I knew her well. Most of the visits I had with Gloria over the years were, um, colorful. Some were civil, but some were a lot darker than that. Most people who knew Gloria over the past ten or more years would have said she was crabby at best, bitter and difficult to be around. I can understand not wanting to go see her in the v