Vivian Da Costa Life Celebration
The following scriptures and comments were recently shared at the life celebration of a friend and dear saint. I hope you find them as uplifting as I did.
New Testament Readings
March 13, 2010
Please stand with me as we
read the Holy and Living Word of God:
First Reading: John 14:1-4
At the very end of Jesus'
ministry, after the Last Supper, Jesus is with His disciples. He has announced His betrayal and His imminent
departure from this planet. He has
announced Peter's denials. He has
announced His trial, His crucifixion and His resurrection. He will be going away for a time.
Those closest to Him are
filled with fear, dismay and confusion. In the midst of their anguish and
uncertainty, he gave them (and us) these words:
not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; Believe also in me. In my
Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I
am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come back and receive you to be with me that you also may be where
I am." (John 14:1-4)
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians
Early during the Apostle Paul's
second missionary journey, Thessalonica was one of his first and most strategic
church plants in Macedonia.
He preached the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; His life, His
death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His impending return. As Paul and Silas traveled further North to Athens and Corinth,
he sent his young protégé Timothy back to encourage and support the fledgling
Timothy returned with encouraging
news; the church was flourishing even in the face of persecution. They did, however, have questions: What
happened to believers who passed away during the time between Christ's
ascension and His triumphant return?
Would they miss out on His kingdom?
In his first letter to the
church at Thessalonica, Paul offered these words of comfort:
"But we do not want you to be
uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve
as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in
Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive
and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen
asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will
rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with
the Lord. Therefore comfort one another
with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Third Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Later, as Paul contemplated
His own death, he wrote his "last words" in the form of an encouraging letter
to young Timothy, who was fast becoming a strong leader in the early
church. Here Paul shares with us something
of the reward our dear Sister DaCosta has already received and that we who are
redeemed have to look forward to:
"For I am already being poured out as a drink
offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished
the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing."
(2 Timothy 4:6-8)
May God add His blessing to
the reading and the hearing of these words.