Connie Leimkuehler

Connie Leimkuehler

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019

Text: Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus’ Yoke Is Easy.

Grace and mercy to you, Ken and to your family; To Brian, Glen and Cheryl and your spouses and your children.  To friends of the Leimkuehler family and to all gathered this morning at Our Savior Lutheran Church. Grace and mercy you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

It is written: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Thus far the text.

We Prayed

The prayer requests trickled in at first.  Pastor Connie is having hip surgery. May we add her to our church’s prayer list?  Of course. The surgery went well. Pastor can we say thanks and pray for Connie’s recovery.  Of course. Then the request that we should pray for strength and healing. It sounded like Connie wasn’t going to recover.  And then the news.

Ken, you and Connie moved to Arizona before I arrived in Iowa.  We met a few times during your visits back to Muscatine. You introduced me to Connie.  We shook hands and said hello. And although I don’t know you and your family well, I can say this, your family has been a blessing to this congregation.  And you have many friends to support you this morning. Even mourn with you.

But look at the place we have gathered.  It is the house of God.

God Acted

The truth is we can’t talk about Connie without talking about her her God.

The very first thing Connie’s God did for her was, was what?  God knit her together in her mother’s womb. This Holy God who has no beginning gave Connie a beginning.

A new life born into this world on October 3, 1939.  

But God didn’t stop there.  

The world may have been starting its second world war but God was building an eternal kingdom.  

This Holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, gave Connie eternal life on November 24, 2939.  Connie is born and then born from above by Holy Baptism.

Before the foundation of the heaven and earth were set in place.

God planned to create Connie and give save Connie from all sin and death

The gift of Holy Baptism cost God our Father the life of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  

Connie was given physical life.  Connie was given eternal. All before she was two months old.

Jesus Promised

Jesus promised Connie that He would never leave her nor forsake her.  And He kept His promise. Jesus remained with Connie as He taught her His word at home and at Sunday School.  Jesus confirmed Connie on April 8, 1960.

But Jesus had more gifts to give Connie as well.  

On June 7, 1959, Jesus gave Ken to Connie; and then children; and then grandchildren, too.

Jesus continued to keep His promise to Connie.

Even last fall, when the yoke and burden seemed too much for her, she was not alone.  Ken, you were at her side, caring for her. Family and friends, too. But most importantly, Jesus was at her side.  Jesus bearing the yoke and burden of Connie’s sin and death.

Come To Me

The gift of her baptism is not ended.  

Connie is alive with her God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Now, Connie has no yoke to bear.  The burden of death is no more.

She is now experiencing nothing but the goodness of God.  We are the ones who feel the burden of losing her. We live in the veil of sorrow and tears.

But Connie is alive.  The only thing she has yet to wait for - is the day of resurrection.  That day will come and then she will be raised imperishable - in the flesh.  How? No one knows. That is a God problem. Jesus has promised that He who is the firstborn, raised from the dead, He will also return - in the flesh.

She has died to all evil.  Jesus took on all her sin and death and despising the shame of the cross died for Connie that she might live.

She is alive to all the goodness of God. No more sin and death.  Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. That goodness is yet to come.  

Connie is even now with God in heaven.  

And then on that day Jesus will say stand up.  Come to Me. And she will rise up bodily from the dead.

Jesus Is The Priceless Treasure

So, I guess what I am saying, to you Ken, is that at some point, you will be able to have a meal with her again.  You will be able to physically hug her. The same is true for all of you - children, grandchildren, friends in Christ.  

Jesus is the priceless treasure.  He Himself. And He says, come to Me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

Even you are buried in the death of Jesus and He is risen from the dead.

We follow Him into death by means of Holy Baptism and faith in Jesus.  And the promise stands that all who are baptized and believing in Jesus will rise in a body, this very body, but without sin and therefore without death.

Risen bodies in a new heaven and a new earth.

Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden.  And I will give you rest.

Connie is resting secure in the fulfillment of all the promises yet waiting for the resurrection.

You and I are called to rest in Jesus.  This comes by the baptism and the ongoing forgiveness of sin.  This is true even as we wait for the death and resurrection of our bodies.  This is so for the sake of Jesus.

Come, let us give thanks to a good and gracious God who keeps His promises.  Come, let us give thanks to a good and gracious God who even now is taking care of Connie.  Come quickly Lord Jesus; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The peace of God, which passes understanding, keep you, body and soul, through Christ Jesus, Our Savior.  Amen.