Thank you all for coming. We’re here to remember the life, and celebrate the ultimate destination of Sid Seagraves (my father). He was born on June 20th, 1946 in Charleston WV, and Died from natural causes at his home on Thursday, May 5th. He is survived by his Son - Me, His brother Eddie Seagraves and his wife Sue; and his sister Jane, and her husband Bill.
My father was quite specific in what he wrote about his memorial service: this is to be a happy time, a time with singing. And on that note, we’re now going to sing some of the songs he picked out. :) We’ll be singing all of the verses of all of them as he explicitly requested.
My father liked to tinker with things - to make things, to fix them, to change them. And, from what I’ve read of what he wrote about his childhood, he was the same way while growing up in Marlington, WV. He ultimately put these skills to good use by owning and operating a Volkswagen repair shop. I definitely appreciated his expertise after I got my own VW....
Another set of things he mentioned about growing up in VW were the beautiful and peaceful woods and creeks. He’d spend many hours wandering, exploring and soaking it in. Having visited some of those same places, I can definitely see what he saw in them. And, at least since I knew him, he continued to appreciated peace, quite and his space and time to think.
But what about the people in his life? For it’s truly the people we’re around - the people we help - that define who we are.
Well, as I think back on my life, I know that he was there for me. Even though he worked long hours, he made time to come to sporting events and throw a ball with me in the yard - :) I remember that I got a black eye once, but that spoke more to my inability to catch, than his ability to throw.
Through out Middle school and High school he’d be at my band concerts, and even when I was in college, he’d make the 5 hour round trip to be at my performances at UF.
I recently read some thoughts he wrote down when I was little, about how he wanted to be a good father, a father who had time for his son, a father who wasn’t too busy. Well, to me, he definitely succeeded.
Another large area of his life was being involved with the Residents of the OceanView nursing home. About 25 years ago, he started going over there to help with the music on Sunday mornings. And for the last 25 years, he stayed involved - helping people get to the services, passing out hymnals, singing, teaching, organizing, and even just sitting and talking with the residents -- basically, whatever was needed. This was the single most consistent area and focus he had. He’d work on his message for a long time each week - writing out and planning each word. I was glad to be able to help him some with this - Part of my job is designing and developing Bible Study tools - and, once he got his iPad (something he never left home without, even if we were only going to dinner), it was easy for him to have access to a wealth of biblical resources.
For a lot of his life, he lived with various health issues. But in his last years, however, his ailing health was a continual burden to him and I saw it wear him down. This was something new to me, for since I can remember he seemed to live with them as a fact of life. Thank you to those of you who showed kindness to him - Maybe it was having him over for dinner, or checking in on him at home. I appreciate it, and I know from talking to him, that he did too.
The irony is, that the last month or so he felt well - he had an energy back in his voice that I haven't heard in years. He was thinking about the future and things he wanted to do. It seems to me, that completing life after a good month, and while sleeping, is probably one of the better ways to do it.
I bring up these last few points in order to make a comparison - no matter how one characterizes his life, he will only be indescribably better off in Heaven with Jesus.
No sadness, a body free from pain, getting to see his mother again, whom he loved dearly. As I reflect on recent conversations with him, I think he had heaven in mind and was looking forward to it.
He had a hope for heaven - I don’t mean hope as in “maybe this will happen”. I mean hope as in “waiting for something with full confidence”
In describing what he wanted in his memorial service, he spent many words on how he wanted everyone to hear how they could have that same hope and confidence about heaven - and more than that - a daily life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
Well, it all starts with a realization that we aren’t perfect - that we fail and fall short of God’s standard.
Romans 3:23 - all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And all sin, all those short fallings of God’s standard have a price -- death. In a very direct way, that’s why we’re here - None of us can escape this universal truth and the consequences of our actions
Romans 6:23 - For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But God didn’t stop there - because of his overwhelming love for us and his desire for a relationship with us, he sent his Son Jesus to earth. Jesus lived and walked through life just like you and me. He faced the temptation of sin and self and consistently prevailed against it. And ultimately, he paid the highest price anyone can pay for anything. He freely gave his life and allowed himself to be crucified and suffer an agonizing death on a cross. And he did it for you.... for me... for my dad...
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Well, you might say, this is all well and good - but how can something that happened over 2,000 years ago possibly have anything to do with my personal life today?
Because, throughout history, there has only been one person to conquer sin and death, and that person is Jesus. For he didn’t stay dead and buried. After 3 days, he rose from the grave and ultimately ascended to Heaven to sit at God the Father’s right hand.
Because of this, we have an opportunity to live a transformed life - One with a God who loved us so much he went through all I just described. To have a hope for the future one glorious day when Jesus come back again. And to have peace.... now.
Romans 10:9-10 - If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation
Romans 10:13 - For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
It’s common to hear people say, you would want to have accepted Jesus now, if when you leave here tonight, you were to get in a car accident and die. But I don’t like that at all - it doesn’t fit with how Jesus ministered while here on earth. Don’t get me wrong - it’s a decision that should be made sooner rather than latter, but give it the weight it deserves.
Jesus didn’t come to seek and scare those who are lost, he came to seek and save them. As we’re getting ready to be done, I ask each of you to consider the spiritual state of your life.
We going to have a minute of silence now. Use it how ever you see fit. Maybe you want to think on a happy memory you had with Sid, or pray for those who are hurting to be comforted. Maybe, you need to confess with your mouth in prayer to God and believe in your heart that Jesus is who he says he is, and that God raised him from the dead. No matter what it is, please join me in a time of silence, reflection, and prayer.