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Four Funerals & A Wedding - Funeral #3 ::

NEIL ATWOOD & LUKE TATTERSALL share sermon ideas for funerals and weddings.

Source: Perspective Vo10 No3&4 © Pearl Beach Press 2003

All five sermons in PDF format:

Funeral – Ecclesiastes 3

I think that every single person at some time in their life will find themselves amazed by the world that we live in. I think that at some point in each persons life we look at the world around us and we are in awe at what we see. Impressed by how big it is. Struck by how complex life is. Amazed by how insignificant we can seem to be in a universe this size.

It may be that you look up at the stars on a crystal clear night and are struck by their beauty and how space seems to go on forever. It may be that you are looking at a butterfly or a rose in your garden and you are amazed by the complexity or detail of such a small thing.
It can happen when you look out on the ocean or stare at the mountains.

We live in a world that is beautiful and yet complex—immense yet so detailed. And when we look at the world you can’t help but think about how it got here. How did it come to be the way it is – who made it that way?
Why do things happen the way they do?
In that Bible passage that was just read for us the writer talks about his amazement at the world we live in. He is amazed by the order that he sees in the world. He is struck by the balance that there seems to be.
As he says:
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.
He see that things seem to happen in order. And we can see that too. The sun rises and the sun sets.
The tide comes in and the tide goes out. The seasons come and go in order.
But he recognises that those things don’t happen by chance. He knows that there is a God who stands behind this world. A God who gives us the order that we see around us.

He uses a great expression to describe the sense of awe and wonder that we can feel when we look at the world around us. He says this:
God has put eternity into the hearts of men yet they cannot fathom what he has done from beginning to end.
The writer says that God has put eternity into each of our hearts . He has placed inside each of us a sense of awe and wonder about the world we live in – an understanding that there is more to life than what we see around us.
God has done this so that we will revere him.
I think that if we are honest with ourselves then we can say that we know that sense of eternity.

Back about 40-50 years ago there was a man by the name of Arthur Stace. He walked the streets of Sydney with a piece of chalk. Not many people knew his name – but many people saw his work. With his chalk he stop on the footpath and write the word ‘eternity’ in the most beautiful writing. Many people were struck by this man’s simple work.
What Arthur Stace did struck a chord with them. People who saw what he wrote knew that eternity in their hearts.

And if we are honest we would have to say that we know it too. We know that there is more to life than the last breath we draw. We know that this life is too complicated – too beautiful to just end.
God has put that sense of eternity on our hearts so we will seek him.
He made us so that we could acknowledge him as God and creator.
God has not left us in the dark about who he is. He has made himself clearly known because as the God and creator of this world men and women should revere him.

God sent his Son, Jesus, into this world so that we could know God.
When Jesus came into this world God said:
“This is my Son. Listen to him.”

Jesus has come into this world so that the feeling of eternity that we have within us will make sense.

Jesus has come to that we can know the God who made this world.

Jesus himself said these words:
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life… (John 6:40)

Luke Tattersall is minister at the Parramatta City Presbyterian Church, Sydney

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These are articles dealing more broadly with the general topic of preaching.

There are sample sermons for those challenging occasions like funerals and weddings, articles looking at preaching on difficult topics such as sex, and even the full text of an evangelistic sermon based on Isaiah!

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