Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
Ascension Day (May 21, 2009)
At Hansen-Lendman Funeral Home
Funeral Homily for Ida Sadowski
TITLE: “Hidden in Christ”
Family and friends of Ida, especially Sharon and Janice, grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Our text for today the Ascension of our Lord, is from Mark 16:16, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Ida Homs Sadowski was born in Kenosha on June 12, 1910 and was baptized into the Holy Christian Church on June 16, 1910. She made confession of her Christian faith in the Rite of Confirmation on June 1, 1924. Ida married her beloved husband, Clemens Sadowski, on October 19, 1934. Their marriage was blessed with three children: Sharon, Janice and Julian. She was a long time member of Messiah Lutheran Church. Ida died in Christ on May 18 in the year of our Lord 2009. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”” (Rev. 14:13 ESV)
Today in the church year is Ascension Day. Forty days after Easter, our Lord ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. This is a wonderful day for a funeral, because this day kind of gives us the path for where Ida has gone, and for where we, too, will go.
But the Christian faith is different from many other faiths of the world. Unlike many faiths, the Christian faith takes the body very seriously. Everything in our funeral service points to how God has cared for this body. God created the body, but most importantly, God will raise up this body from the dead on the last day.
Jesus, you see, is our guide. Indeed, he is more than a guide; He goes ahead of us to clear the path to heaven itself. He is the one who has gone before to death and life again for you and I. And Ida was baptized into Jesus almost a hundred years ago. For ninety eight years Ida confessed the Christian faith. She was confirmed. She was a regular member at Messiah for years and years. And when she could no longer come to church, the church came to her. I visited her for the last ten years of her life, and we have had many different parishioners who have sung with her, prayed with her, and
All of this points us to what is truly important. In the midst of grief and sorrow, there is hope, real hope. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. That is Jesus’ promise to Ida. Ida is saved. She is in heaven with Jesus. And one day, Jesus will return again and will raise up this body from the dead. For Jesus loves Ida, body and soul together. This is why Saint Paul could write:
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
But frankly, we miss her. Because of her illnesses at the end of her life, it may feel like she has already been gone for a long time. That is not the same, however, as now. It is a relief for Ida to be out of pain, this is true. But there is also a loss. She was a part of a generation that is quickly fading.
She is gone from our sight for a time, and that is hard. It is okay to weep, because you love her and don’t want her to be gone. But weep with hope, for we will be reunited with her one day. At the last trumpet, our Lord will raise Ida and you and I up from the dead to life everlasting. Perhaps the hymn expresses it best:
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
So rest well, Ida. Rest well in the arms of Jesus, until that last, great day when we will be reunited again in the resurrection of the dead.
Believe it for the sake of Him who died and rose again, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.