1. Like the golden sun ascending, breaking through the gloom of night,
On the earth His glory spending, so that darkness takes to flight,
Thus my Jesus from the grave, and death's dismal, dreadful cave,
Rose triumphant Easter morning, at the early purple dawning.
5. Thou hast died for my transgressions, all my sins on Thee were laid;
Thou hast won for me salvation, on the cross my debt was paid.
From the grave I shall arise and shall meet Thee in the skies.
Death itself is transitory; I shall lift my head in glory.
#354 ELH - T.H. Kingo, 1634-1703
One of the funerals was held at our church last week Wednesday. It was a service for a young woman, 24, who died of stomach cancer. But that isn't the whole story. Last fall, as a new wife, she and her husband were thrilled when they found they were expecting a child. However, she was so sick. Much sicker than morning sickness, so she went to Rochester Mayo for some tests, where they found she had stage 4 stomach cancer, the same cancer that had taken the life of her father more than 20 years ago. They could not begin to treat the cancer while she was pregnant, so when it was safe for the developing baby, they did emergency surgery to birth him very early. He was tiny, and was in the NICU for a long time, but he survived and grew, and is now 8 months old and healthy. However, his mother's cancer was so advanced that all the different chemo treatments did not take the cancer away, and after a courageous fight, she died last Sunday morning. She was a lovely girl, a musician, our church organist and choir director for a time. She had one of the strongest faiths I have ever witnessed, and she was a wonderful example to us all. She knew she was not going to live very long and she was looking forward to a cancer free, pain free life in Heaven with Jesus. Her service was beautiful, planned by Ruth herself, and was a blessing to all who attended.
One of the hymns at her funeral was Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart. The congregation sang the first verse and the college choir sang the next two verses. It was beautiful. I want to leave you with the third verse of this hymn:
Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in it's narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from Death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.
#406 ELH - M.M. Schaling, 1532-1608