Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hannah's Path

This Saturday it will be three months since my sister made it to the arms of her savior.  This is a transcript of my opening message at her funeral service...may it both bless you and challenge you!

November 22, 2013:

Thank you for coming, on behalf of my brother and sisters, and my mom and step dad, Hannah's dad...we cannot express how much it means to us and to Hannah. Hannah's deepest desire was to not just make an impact but to be noticed and accepted by all of us and we are doing that today.

We want this time to be honoring of Hannah and in order to do that it took the creativity of the six of us left to match the creativity of her.

You will hear from my sisters, Alex, dad and Pastor Tim, who you will see why, was Hannah's favorite pastor to date.   Each of us wants to describe Hannah for you and paint a picture of what her life was about and what she stood for.

In order to begin this time I need to explain to you Hannah's theology and how it has changed over the years. Theology is the study of God and his relations to the world.   Simply put, it is our beliefs about God.

You might be like Hannah 5 or so years ago...her belief about God is that he sent Jesus to fix her.   Jesus, her savior, was sent to be this magical pill that if she took it...her life would be perfect.

Hannah found out over the years that Jesus wasn't fixing her pain. In fact this might be preventing many of you from believing in Jesus today because you feel like God abandoned you and didn't fix the problems in your life.

Her theology then changed to the merit system. That maybe she needed to earn Jesus' healing grace. 

Maybe all she had to do was worship him enough...pray enough...go on enough trips and be at church every Sunday for Jesus to take her pain away.  

Hannah found out that you could not earn Jesus fixing you.   Many of you are still trying to earn Jesus fixing you.   You believe that if you do these things and follow these rules that Jesus will bless you and take your pain away.

She then came back to Arizona and began the final transformation of her theology.   A thought crept into her life...maybe Jesus is not supposed to fix me. Maybe it's not about being perfect in this life but what you do in spite of your imperfection.

It reminds me what Jesus said in the book of John, "In this world you will have troubles, but take heart I have overcome the world." If I could paraphrase this for Hannah, in this world you will have pain...but Jesus has overcome the world...meaning the pain in the world doesn't win in the end...but you have to endure the pain until you get to the end.

Jesus then became her aim, her journey, her great adventure in life. Jesus was at the end of a road she traveled and no matter how many times she fell, tripped, stopped or went the other way...all she needed to do was keep walking toward Jesus. The goal was not to be made perfect the goal was the journey and Jesus was walking along side her.

This was shown in her life by her love for the outcast and her love for children in this past year here at Cornerstone.  It is this theology that I believe is the most important lesson Hannah can teach us here today.  

If you don't believe in Jesus because he

hasn't fixed you or you believe in Jesus but are trying to earn his grace let Hannah correct your theology...Jesus is the journey and the destination and all you have to do is to start walking.

Hannah, even when the world was against you, with your heart aching and your mind in kept walking toward Jesus and now you have made it...into the arms of your savior.

You have fought the good fight...your have run the race...your have kept the faith...your theology....May we be as bold and fearless as just keep walking.

Or if you are a just keep swimming...just keep swimming...just keep swimming swimming swimming.

Let's pray!

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