Monday, August 20, 2012

Peggy Moore Memorial Service

This message was delivered at the memorial Service for Peggy Moore, which was held at Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, 18 August 2012. The main biblical text is 1 Peter 1:3-5.

Peggy Elizabeth Moore was born 39 years ago on May 13, 1973, in Little Rock, Arkansas, welcomed into the world by her parents Ramona Irene Myers and David William Lee. She left us Thursday, August 9th, 2012.

Peggy graduated from Little Rock Central High School, one of the most famous high schools in American history. Thirty-five years before she graduated in 1991 her high school, along with Birmingham, Alabama, had been ground zero of the American Civil Rights Movement. And that had an obvious impact on her and her family.

Five years after graduating, on November 29, 1996, Peggy married a handsome young guy from Chicago -- Corey Lee Moore.

She leaves behind their daughters Kameron Moore and Kori Moore, stepdaughter Kawana Moore, goddaughter Jesseca Cordova, husband Corey, father David William Lee, bothers David Lee Jr. and Roger Lee.

Peggy was a dog person and will certainly be missed not only by her family and friends but also by her pets Joy and Mission.

As you heard, Peggy spent her life giving and helping others. She was devoted to her children and their friends -- several of whom ended up living with the Moores when they needed a place.

Peggy was also a cook who enjoyed spending time creating her favorite meals, especially her famous cornbread.

As you know, Peggy struggled with several health issues but was usually able to maintain a beautiful smile and cheerful spirit.

Peggy we remember you and thank God for your life!

Remembering, though, is only half the reason we’re here this morning. The other half is to serve as a collective witness to the hope of the resurrection that is ours in Christ Jesus.

The context of Peggy’s passing gives us the opportunity to say again that we don’t believe that death is the final word.
  • Yes, we’re sad and
  • Yes we know that Peggy cannot be replaced. 
  • Yes, Peggy will be sorely missed. 
  • BUT our grief is tempered by resurrection created hope. 
 I want to point you to 1 Peter 1:3-5 --
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.4 You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. 5 Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time. (CEB)
When Christ rose from the dead he broke the neck of death. Death itself is doomed and is in the process of dying.

Christ is victorious and since we have been born anew in him we share in his victory. That is, we have a new life rooted in his new life -- and we live with a great expectation -- a hope. And remember, in the Bible the word hope is not wishful thinking but faith filled certainty. The biblical writers would have never said, “I hope to go to San Diego to get out of this blasted heat -- if I can find the time.”

They would have said, “I am going to San Diego tomorrow to get out of this blasted heat. That is my hope -- my certain plan -- the plan that allows me to bear with the heat until I get there.”

Hope is the future tense of faith.

And here in 1 Peter 1:3, the apostle Peter calls it a “living hope.”

That means it does not flicker, fade, or die out. It is an imperishable inheritance stored in the bank of heaven where all the troubles of life that we experience now cannot pick away at it. It’s safe --
  • no matter what your Facebook stock did this week...
  • or if all the too big to fail banks down here fail. 
  • If the republic unravels -- as troubling as that might be.
Our hope is not rooted in political, social, or economic stability. Our hope is not even rooted in stable families or the positive relationships that such famiies seem to foster. Rather our hope -- our living hope is solely rooted in the faithfulness of Christ Jesus and his victory over death -- solely.

Whenever a friend or family member dies we feel like someone has whacked us with a 2 x 4 over the head. It hurts. It does not feel so good -- but it’s not terminal -- eternally speaking. For our living hope -- the hope that truly makes us alive as people -- is not rooted in Peggy’s cooking, smile, or presence but in the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

IOW, we fully expect that just as Christ was raised from the dead -- we too following along the path he has blazed -- will be raised with him. Our bodies will be remade -- renewed for our life together in what Revelation 21 calls "the new heaven and the new earth."

And this certain future informs the way that we approach our situation here and now -- in many ways and on many levels. Specifically in regard to our loss, we embrace what the apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4.
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope.
He is not saying that we don't mourn -- but that we don't mourn in the same way as the people who don't have hope.
14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus.15 What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. 16 This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. 17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words. (CEB)
And that my friends is the good news -- a message of encouragement to all who trust the resurrected Christ as Savior and Lord. And I hope that includes you.

Let’s pray -- Gracious God, these are desperate and sad times for us. We need a fresh infusion of your hope. As we deal with the passing of Peggy grant us not only your peace but also a fresh shot of living hope -- a renewed awareness of what Christ has done for us, and is keeping for us, and will do for us on the day of resurrection. We surrender our lives to you expecting that you will turn them around and remake us into Easter people -- people driven by the living hope of resurrection. Amen.

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