I didn't get good audio from the Choir but I posted this because the two are very similar. WLA's choir directed by Dale Witte did an awesome job. This is a recording from our MLC college. I thought I would post this first so you could listen to it while you read the rest of the service.
THE WORD OF GOD
FIRST LESSON Psalm 46 (NIV84)God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
SECOND LESSON John 14:1-6 (NIV 84)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
HYMN OF THE DAY “God Loved the World So that He Gave”
v. 1-4 All, v. 5 Solo, v. 6 All
SERMON 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV 84)
Fight the Good Fight
Mike Van Deurzen was a fighter. As Gina mentioned, not much in Mikey’s life came easy. Ever since the diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis almost thirty years ago, Mike has been Fighting- fighting for breath, fighting for life. And yet, that fight didn’t get him down. I have had the privilege of knowing Mike for the last ten years, and I can honestly stand before you and tell you that Mike was an awesome individual. I spent a lot of time talking to Mike, either in the hospital room at UW for his treatments, up in the third floor suite at the Thiesfeldts, or in my office at church. Mike had this attitude about life that was absolutely incredible. In all of my talks with Mike, I don’t think I ever heard Mike complain. And that’s pretty incredible- because from an earthly perspective-Mike could have had a whole lot to complain about.
Mike was an individual who knew blessings, but he also knew difficulties. Mike’s life was not always that perfect bed of roses. And yet, he always seemed to have that upbeat attitude. I am convinced that one of the reasons why he had that attitude, the creative loving spirit, the giving heart-those things that the obituary mentioned-was all due to the fact that he knew that in Christ, he had everything. He knew what he was looking forward to. He knew all about the crown- that Christ had won for him.
In our sermon text for today we have the Apostle Paul looking forward to the very same thing that Mike was looking forward to: The Crown. In this book of the Bible, we have the Apostle Paul writing to his young friend, Pastor Timothy. He is writing this letter towards the end of his earthly life. He knows that soon, his time on this earth will end. And so he writes this letter to help and encourage Pastor Timothy. The time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. This life isn’t easy. Paul knew that. The Apostle Paul knew what it meant to deal with difficulties in life. He knew what hardships were all about.
Mike knew difficulties in this life too. He knew what it meant to fight the good fight, and to run the race. Last Friday I was sitting with Mike and talking with him about this text in preparation for his funeral. Mike knew that the fight that Paul is talking about here wasn’t a war with Cystic Fibrosis, it is a war against sin. It’s a war against the world. It’s a war against the devil. Mike knew about that fight too. He knew that there were plenty of times when he lost that battle against sin. In fact really, that’s the real reason we are gathered here today. That’s the real reason why his 31 year old body is laid out in that casket. …it is not because of CF, but rather it is because Mike sinned. Because Mike Sinned-Mike died. And quite frankly because I have sinned, because you have sinned, we are going to share the exact same fate. We too will die.
But friends the good news that Mike wanted you all to hear today was that, that [casket] isn’t the end of the story. Mike didn’t lose the race! He didn’t lose the battle! He won! Mike knew that he had a Savior who paid for that sin. He had a Savior who was born of a woman, just like we are. He had a Savior who grew up just like we do. He had a Savior who was tempted by the devil, just like we are. But this Savior was different. For this Savior never once listened to the devils lies, like we do. This Savior never once fell prey to the devil’s temptations, like we do. And then this Savior suffered- far more than you or I or even Mike ever have had to suffer in this life. For Jesus bore every one of Mike’s sins, everyone of yours, everyone of mine on that cross. And then our Savior- at the age of just 33, died. But he didn’t stay dead- no on that third day he rose again, to give us the confident hope that we can face the death of a 31 year old in a completely different way.
For Mike knew that his race was already won. For he knew that because Christ had won the victory for him-he could look forward to the prize at the end of the race. Just listen to hear what Mike is enjoying right now: 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” Mike is enjoying the crown not the CF. The very Lord who called Mike to be his own when he Baptized him, is the very same Lord who kept him close to his heart through the means of grace. Mike knew that because he had Jesus’ life death and resurrection credited to his account, he could approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. He was at peace.
Mike had the confident hope of knowing where he was going. When I visited him last Friday, I asked him if there was anything he was afraid of. He looked at me, and he said-well I just want to be sure that my brothers can be my pall bearers and if they could wear their vests at church-is that gonna be OK? I said absolutely. He said-then there is this procession from the church to the cemetery-can they ride in that procession-it’s going to be really loud? I said-I can’t wait to hear it Mike. No problem. But that’s all the service-we can take care of that, but what about you-is there anything you are afraid of? Mike said, “I hope my mom is going to be OK after I’m gone.” I said, she has a great family and great friends-and an even better Lord that are all going to help her through this. But Mike what about you- is there anything you are afraid of-anything I can explain from the scriptures of what’s going to happen when you die. He said-No-I’m good-I got Jesus. He’s just going to come and get me.” I said, yes He is Mike, yes he is. Mike was one incredible guy.
Mike knew that he had won the race. He may have lost the battle with Cystic Fibrosis-but he won the War when he got the crown and inherited heaven’s home.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
M: Almighty God, we praise you for the great company of saints who have finished their lives in faith and now rest from their labors. We remember especially our loved one, Mike Van Deurzen Jr., whom you have redeemed by the blood of your Son and received as your dear child through Holy Baptism. We thank you for giving him to us as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your compassion, comfort all who are sad in this hour. Lord, in your mercy,
C: Hear our prayer.
M: We praise you for your love in Christ, which sustains us in life and death. In our earthly sorrows, help us find strength in the fellowship of the church, joy in the forgiveness of sins, and hope in the resurrection to eternal life. Lord, in your mercy,
C: Hear our prayer.
M: You do not leave us comfortless but strengthen and care for us through your Word and sacrament. You give us family, friends, and neighbors to help when there is loneliness now and in the days to come. Brighten our future with a firm trust in your promises and care. Lord, in your mercy,
C: Hear our prayer.
M: Remove our fears, and make us bold to pray with confidence as our Savior has taught us:
C: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
M: The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.