Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rhea S. Bossart

The Burial of Rhea Bossart
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 23
Revelation 7:9-17
John 6:37-40

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.
The first time I stepped into this pulpit, two and a half years ago, Rhea shouted out, “I love you!”  In some ways, that tells you everything you need to know about Rhea.

When she was well enough to come to church, Rhea always sat in the front row, with her caregiver.  She was very much like a part of the church itself, at least from this vantage point—Sunday morning, look to my left in the front row, Rhea.  Or, walk out of the 8 o’clock service into the parish hall, Bob and Rhea sitting at a table, with Rhea making some beautiful creation out of yarn.

But there’s more than that.  If you look at the church photo on the wall in the lounge, you can see Rhea nestled among the people.  And if you look back through the baptismal records, you’ll find Rhea.  And in the marriage records, you’ll find Rhea.  And now in the necrology, you’ll find Rhea.  But you will also find Rhea in our hearts and in our memories, because Rhea is everywhere, it seems.  She lived her entire life as part of this church.  Given to God in her baptism, and now given to God in death.

Jesus said, "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away . . . And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”

The Rhea we knew in her earlier days might have seemed lost to us these last few years, but she was not lost to God.  No one is lost to God.  Though the Rhea we cherished slowly slipped away from us this past year, she was always known to God, always cherished by God, and always redeemed by God.

You could say that in death, Rhea has now stepped through a door to another room, to be greeted by the ultimate caregiver.  And I imagine Jesus greeting her the way she first greeted me, shouting out “I love you!”  Because that would make Rhea smile, like only Rhea can smile.

One day we will see Rhea again, and it will be a glorious reunion indeed.  And in the meantime, we hold onto that promise from Jesus:  I will lose nothing that has been given to me, but will raise them up on the last day.  Rhea is safe, in the arms of Jesus, and we will see her again.


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