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Mitch’s Service Message

- Written by David Nelson

Good Afternoon, my name is David Nelson

Mitch and I were roommates at Biola University – Apologetics class together, sit on the floor in chapel, come home to our dorm room and listen to Neil Young and watch The Hobbit…

Mitch was instrumental in me dating who became my wife – Janelle meet Mitch at Matt & Danielle’s wedding years earlier.

We spent that year teaching him how to surf on a surfboard I gave him and he taught me to rock climb and poached in Yosemite a number of times = where I grew up as a child…we spent hours sitting and talking and praying about everything you could imagine…about Sarah too once he had met her and how he felt about her…Mitch was the first person I called when I knew I was going to marry Janelle.

Mitch was in my wedding and I had the honor of marrying Mitch & Sarah six years ago in Yosemite

And every fall Janelle and I had been going and meeting Mitch in Yosemite – and last fall we brought our boys = Mitch brought Mason and Janelle and I brought August…and it was a dream come true for me…

You see, Mitch was supposed to be my friend for life…I’m exactly ten years older than Mitch and this was never supposed to happen.  Upon hearing Mitch passed away - for the first time in my life I felt a sense of being alone…and a new feeling I had never experienced before…a longing for Heaven.

Our plan this afternoon is to remember & celebrate Mitch through music, video tributes, a brief devotion, prayer, and all of us sharing in this reunion…and gaining not just closure but a way to look forward to our lives here and possibly how we could live them better for having known Mitch and his amazing heart for others…

 

MY DEVOTION:

Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants”

 

And we lost one, and it’s been devastating…we no longer can enjoy the company of him like we have, or create new memories like the ones just described by Todd, Matt & Sarah…

Jesus himself faced heartache when his own cousin John the Baptist was taken from earth in the prime of his life.

 

Matt: 14:13 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.”

But we are back now together to receive comfort and hope, and a challenge…

 

Comfort

“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” Matt. 5:4

Jesus is the divine comforter…John 14:18 Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”  Comfortless means “orphans – one without help or hope”

But as Christians, we are now sons & daughters, not orphans – and we have a hope – a hope of home…

 

August and how he wants to go home…

It has been said that God never sees His Children die; He only sees them come home.

And herein lies our hope – of eternal life with Jesus & Mitch and each other…  Blue Like Jazz quote….

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

 

The Challenge is this…

Before we go home, how can I live a better, more God honoring life here on earth…

 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

Mitch was very good at loving others…we need more of that in this world…those who passionately love others and reach out to them…

“There you are!”  Mentality vs. a “Here I am!” mentality…

 

O death where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  1 Corinthians 15:55

 

Not here, for Mitch is not here…he stands in the presence of the Lord, the same Jesus who said to the dying man on a cross “today you shall be with me in paradise”…

In the face of death, we thank you for the gift of eternal life.

In the face of separation, we thank you for the eternal reunion we so eagerly anticipate.

Continue to comfort us, give us hope, and challenge us in the days, weeks, and years to come lord Jesus, our Author of our faith