Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Saturday, September 9, 2023

The Burial of James Thomas

James Thomas, 9/6/23
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 23
Revelation 21:2-7
John 6:37-40

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I did not know Jim Thomas.  In fact, I don’t think I ever met him in person.  But I know many of you, his friends and family.  And I’ve read with interest the amazing obituary written by one of his children.  I feel like I have a sense of the man without knowing him, because I know you, and I’ve read those words.

A theme running through Jim’s life was a desire to give back.  And a person who so emphasizes giving back shows that they know deep down that everything they have is a gift.  You can see it in our use of the word “back.”  We have been given, and we strive to give back.  And this leads to caring deeply for others.  Helping those who were, “not given,” if you will.  Choosing to work in Legal Services is a perfect example of this.  No one gets a law degree and takes a job at Legal Services in order to make it rich.  Defending those who need help is among the highest callings.

Jim gave back because he could see the gifts in his own life.  And you can contrast that with people who think things are being taken away from them.  Who aren’t recognizing the gifts in their lives.  Who are losing the gifts they had.  Those are the people Jim spent time trying to help.  He knew that all good things in life are a gift, and he shared what he had as a person, and as a devoted father, partner, and grandfather.  Jim’s unrelenting love for his family shows that he knew all of you to be a gift to him as well.   

In the passage of scripture I read a few minutes ago, from John’s gospel, Jesus says, "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” And “I will lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”  Jesus does not lose what is his.  All of us are given the gift of life on this earth, and when our time here is through, we return back to the one who gave us that precious gift of life.

Jim spent his days giving to others, caring for others, helping others.  And he passed that desire to give back on to his children.  And now he has returned to the one from whom every good thing comes.  Though Jim is lost to us as we continue to live out our own gift of life, Jim is not now—and never was—lost to God.  Because Jesus does not let go of what is his, and he will raise each of us up on the last day.  May God bless Jim Thomas, and may God bless all of you.


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