Sunday, February 4, 2018

Kelly Baumann

Kelly Baumann
12-25-1973 – 1.28.2018
Baptized into Christ - May 8, 1988
Committal Service – February 4, 2018

In the bulb there is a flower;
In the seed, an apple tree.
In cocoons, a hidden promise,
Butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
There’s a spring that waits to be.
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence,
Seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness,
Bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future;
What it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

In the end is our beginning,
In our time, infinity.
In our doubt, there is believing,
In our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
At the last, a victory.
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see. [1]

Death is so limited…
It has not crippled love,
It has not shattered hope,
It has not corroded faith,
It has not eaten away peace
   Nor destroyed confidence.

It has not killed friendship,
It has not shut out memories,
It has not silenced courage,
It has not invaded the soul,
   Nor reduced eternal life.

It has not quenched the Spirit,
It cannot, has not,
  Nor will not lessen the power of the resurrection! [2]

Trevor, Melina, Sophia, Alex. Family, neighbors, friends.

As we gather this afternoon, questions still linger. Why this sickness, this pain, this grief? -- Why did God let this happen? 

I want you to know that it not wrong to ask the question why. If you’ve noticed, from the cross, Jesus asked this very question, "My God, My God, why?”

There is no easy answer given to our questions. Why is life so hard? The answer to the “why?” question can only be really worked through when we cling to Christ in grim determination, knowing that only His love sustains us. 

Jesus hears our cries. “In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.” (Psalm 18:6)

We are to remember when Jesus was with His disciples in the boat. Although Jesus did not hear the howling storm; He heard His disciples' cries. Much as a mother hears the cries of her baby and a shepherd hears the bleat of the sheep. So does Jesus hear your cries. "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear." (Isaiah 59:1)

We knew this day would come. Kelly knew it too. There would be a time. When her end would come. When Kelly’s presence would be absent from us. And now we are here. With this reality. Kelly Baumann has been received into the hands of Jesus.  

She has been parted from us for a season. But soon will come that glorious day. When that call will come in our own lives. When we shall see Jesus - face to face. And then, we shall be together again. Never to be parted by time, distance, or space. 

We gather today to celebrate the life Kelly lived and the life she lives now. For we are Easter people. And this we can say in confidence; Kelly lives.  You wife. Your mother. Your daughter. Your sister. Your friend - Kelly - is alive. She is at peace. She is well. She is whole. She is in the very presence of Jesus. Because Jesus has promised, “Because I live, you shall live also!”  (John 14:19)

Kelly has successfully celebrated the three great days of her life.  They are the day you are born into this world, the day you are born again in baptism, and the day we are born into glory. These days, and so many more, Kelly received as gift. 

Kelly was born into this world on Christmas Day 1973. Kelly embraced Christmas. Some radio stations begin playing Christmas music 24/7 around Thanksgiving. Kelly was well into Christmas by then. She could get started planning as early as October! It was a day to celebrate life and the life Christ brings when He entered into time and space –as the old song sings, “To prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love.” 

This Good News that Christ’s kingdom is at hand began when Jesus broke into time and space at Christmas. He began His proper work; delivering people from the effects of sin and fulfilled it on Easter morning when He broke from the tomb giving us His life. 

Yes, there is something more lasting, more powerful and greater than your sin. It is the love and compassion Jesus has for us sinners. While each of us were lost and steeped in sin, God our Father had a plan. A plan, which was in place, way before the dawn of time.

What God did not become. He could not save. And so, Jesus comes into the world as one of us. To save us. Jesus came into the world. To be counted with sinners. To save sinners. 

At the right time, our heavenly Father would send His only Son. Jesus would enter into our world. Breaking into time and space. He came to be your substitute. He would live the perfect life for you.

He would die the death that you deserve. And there, at a cross, He would trade your sin, your misery and your guilt for His perfection and work out what you and I could never, ever do! 

Yes, Jesus has done for you better than what you could ever do for yourself. When settling the issue with sin, Jesus acts alone. He dealt with the issues of your brokenness Himself. Period. With no help from anyone. The Father sends His own Son to the cross. Jesus bore your sin. He carried it alone. – To the cross of Calvary. There He died for you. 

Every birthday is an opportunity for us to reflect upon the talents abilities and gifts the Lord gives us. It’s a time for us to serve both God and our neighbor as representatives of His mercy and grace. It’s an opportunity for us to let our light shine. Kelly touched many lives. She was Christ’s agent, an instrument of His peace.

The second great day of Kelly’s life happen on May 8, 1988 when she was baptized. On that day she entered Christ’s family. There she was incorporated into the life of Jesus. Says Saint Paul, “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4) This life Christ gave to Kelly was His own. It is a life which has no end. 

Kelly’s third great day happened this past Sunday, January 28, 2018. Trevor, the words you spoke, were the words of Jesus. The words Kelly heard, were the words of Jesus her Savior. She heard them clearly as she entered glory, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

 And with those words, Kelly took a walk. From one end of Christ’s kingdom to the other. From grace to glory. She closed her eyes to this world. When she opened them again she saw Jesus face to face.

Today we rejoice in the life Kelly lives. We take comfort in the fact that because Jesus lives we will live also. This does not mean that we do not grieve. We will grieve. But not as those who have no hope. 

We will carry with us feelings of grief and loss. There will be sorrow as we begin to process Kelly’s absence and all that which has happened. But even in your darkest hours. Even when you feel and experience such deep sadness. Yet we have this hope. Put your trust in Jesus. And He will lift you in His arms.  Christ remains present.  You can even glory in your weakness. For when you are weak. You are made strong by the power of Christ. Comfort yourselves in the sure promises of Jesus. “Because I live you shall live also.” (John 14:19)

Melina, Sophia, in his work “The Lion the Witch and Wardrobe” C.S. Lewis describes the hold Satan has on the world this way, “He makes it always winter…and never Christmas!” You and I have it so much better. 

Every time we enter into God’s house and we sing the Gloria,[3]  a hymn the church has sung for thousands of years. We sing glory to God just as the angels sang that first Christmas night. It’s a song you mom is singing even now as she joins with angels and arch angels and all the company of heaven.  Because of Jesus, every time we gather for worship; there is a little Christmas, as we pray and sing along with them together, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men!” That peace is the peace of Christ. Kelly has received it. And it will never be taken from her.  
Words – 1,625
Passive Sentences –4%
Readability – 87%
Reading Level – 3.3
Woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, © WELS

[1] Hymn of Promise The United Methodist Hymnal © 1989 The United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, TN requested by the family 
[2] Unknown source, © Common Domain
 [3] The Gloria pg. 187 Lutheran Service Book © 2009 Concordia Publish House, St. Louis

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