Matthew Allen GormanBorn March 26, 1993Baptized into Christ May 9, 1993Confirmed in Christ May 6, 2007With Christ in Peace September 8, 2020Committal September 12, 2020
Jesus, lead Thou on
Till our rest is won;
And although the way
We will follow calm
Guide us by Thy hand
To our Fatherland.
If the foe be near,
Let not faithless fears o’ertake us;
Let not faith and hope forsake us;
For through many a woe
To our home we go.
From a long felt grief,
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring,
Show us that bright shore
Where we weep no more.
Till our rest is won.
Heav’nly leader, still direct us,
Still support, console, protect us,
Till we safely stand
In our fatherland.
It has not shattered hope,
It has not corroded faith,
It has not eaten away peace
Nor destroyed confidence
It has not shut out memories,
It has not silenced courage,
It has not invaded the soul,
Nor reduced eternal life.
It cannot, has not,
Nor will not lessen the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come. – A Prayer in times of affliction and distress
Matthew Gorman has died. Much too soon. He was a delightful young person. A loyal brother. A dutiful, loving son. A trusted friend. Matt was man of kindness and patience. He was a kind and caring soul to anyone, regardless. He lived his Christian faith daily. All that is true.
But now he's gone, and we're left with grief.
Why did Matt have to die now? It seems too soon. It seems too sudden. And sometimes, like in Matt’s case, death will come with more questions. How did this strange accident take place? What exactly happened?
Many of these questions will never be clearly answered. They are mysteries. And we will have to decide how to deal with them.
Whether to get stuck - forever trying to get answers to impossible questions; or, whether to leave the unknowable to the One; the only One, who knows all things.
Today we are given to trust that where we cannot see a purpose or understand the timing of what seems to be a random act; that in fact, the Lord is present. He is with us.
We are given to trust because none of this makes any sense and the pain and hurt is so unbearable. Yet, our Lord is still the King of all Creation and all things work together to achieve His good purpose for our lives.
We have this assurance that everything Jesus has told us is true. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us. And where He is, we will be also.
Our place in paradise is assured. We trust even though it is still a mystery. As St. Paul reminds us, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.” - 1Corinthians 13:12
But this we know with certainty, “we will not all die, but we will all be changed.” “Death has lost its sting” -1 Corinthians 15:51 “Yes, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” -Romans 8:37
I’d like to suggest that the way to handle the suddenness and the perplexing parts of Matthew’s death is that we trust.
Trust the Scripture from Ecclesiastes which says:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
And as the Psalmist said so long ago, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me."
God never promised to keep us from trouble, only to be with us in those troubled times. There was trouble Tuesday afternoon. But Matthew was not alone. The Lord was there.
We may trust that the Good Shepherd, the one who makes us lie down in green pastures; who leads use beside still waters; and restores our souls was with Matt when he walked through the darkest valley of the shadow of death helping him to fear no evil; comforting him.
Trust these promises, just as surely as you know that Matt now dwells in the house of the LORD forever. Matthew knew the Savior’s voice. Now he sees His face.
The Gospel announces a God who knows what death is about, who knows the weight of grief, a God who suffers with us, a God who suffers for us as Isaiah has taught,
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” - Isaiah 53:3-5
The Gospel brings the announcement of resurrection, the unexpected gift of hope. Our God never lets death have the last word–not for Jesus, not for Matthew, not for any of us who trust in Him.
In this very room, on the day of his confirmation, May 9, 2007, these words of Scripture were spoken over him, words which Matthew chose himself, a verse which speaks of his unwavering faith and confidence in Christ “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.” – Psalm 26:1
This is a prayer of faith. Vindicate me, O Lord. This the Savior has done; for Matt, for me, for you. At the cross is where Jesus bore your sin as His own. Jesus gave His life for yours, taking all your sins away as His own on the cross. His empty tomb heals you in full through the forgiveness of sins.
In God’s Son is full perfection. As God’s Son Jesus loved perfectly. As God’s Son Jesus lived perfectly. As God’s Son Jesus fulfilled the will of the Father perfectly.
Now His obedience is counted as yours. St. Paul reminds us in Romans 5:19 "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."
We now have in Christ everything the Father demands of each of us. As St. Paul explains, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." -2 Corinthians 5:21
On Calvary’s cross we see – that great exchange— God’s mercy and forgiveness purchased at the cost of His own Son! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
As our substitute, Jesus lived in perfect conformity with God's Laws as Peter reminds us, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth!" He never caused darkness by sin. -1 Peter 2:22
Matthew trusted in the Lord without wavering. His confidence was in Christ. His hope was in Christ. His trust was in Christ.
In the gospel of John Jesus visits a grieving family who had lost a brother. We could say He visited a home today. Who had lost a brother, a nephew, a friend, a son.
In that conversation Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 This is the question we each must ponder.
Is Jesus the resurrection and the life? The testimony of Scripture is undeniable – the early disciples would say, “We are witnesses of these things!” – Acts 5:32
Do you believe – that whoever believes in Jesus, even though they die will live and not die?
Matthew Gorman trusted the promises of Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Matt knew that he was a sinner. He knew his flaws. But he also knew that Christ is compassionate. Who has promised to forgive our every sin.
Being faithful does not mean living a perfect life. Being faithful is more than good thoughts, good words, good deeds. We are fallen creatures. Poor, miserable sinners. We find ourselves living outside of Eden.
Being faithful is simply trusting, believing, and clinging to all of the Father’s promises. This Matthew did. He placed his confidence in the very promises that pointed to his Savior.
Because Matt trusted in Christ we can truly say Matthew Gorman is alive, he well, he is at peace, he is whole – and having this same faith we will see each other again – never to be separated by time, distance, space.
Christ's love knows no boundaries. He loves you constantly and completely. It is a love that can never be broken. His love is boundless and eternal. Never forget - Jesus loves you! When others turn their backs on you. When their love grows cold. And empty. Jesus will still be there. To love you. He will never stop or change in His love for you!
This service is for the living. –Matthew Gorman was given opportunity to live his life. – We continue on. Life will be difficult and oh so different.
– But we walk by faith – until that day comes in our life when Jesus will call us from this world to a world that has no end – from an earthly kingdom – to a heavenly kingdom – from a place which is limited to a place that is beyond time and space.
May the Savior so walk with you until we are re-united with those who have gone before us.Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in every situation they may recognize and receive Your gracious help, comfort, and peace through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
 Jesus Lead Thou On, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 Unknown source, copyright © Common Domain