Sunday, May 31, 2015

Depositing Ashes Service

As Chaplain to "The Rats of Tobruk" in Brisbane I get attend and even officiate at various of their functions. We deposited the ashes of one of the "Rats" at the Military section at Pinnaroo, Brisbane, Queensland. A whole lot more was spoken but the following is an outline of the service for Eddie Stott:

"We are gathered together in the presence of God to remember His sovereignty in death as in life and to seek His Word for our hearts. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)." (Reformed Book of Common Order)

We meet here today to remember Edward Stott, a relative, a friend and a Rat of Tubruk, a member of the Bramble Bay sub-branch of the Rats of Tobruk, and to acknowledge his life and also to place his ashes in their resting place until the day of the general resurrection.

Let us pray:
“Eternal God, before whom the generations of people rise and pass away, we come together before You. As You have sent us into this life, so You have a appointed a time for our departure from it. As You give, so You take away, that we may be mindful of our frailty and acknowledge the brevity of all things here.

“Speak to us in the solemnity of this time as we wait upon You with reverent and submissive hearts. Speak to us through the Scriptures of things eternal and bring comfort, hope and courage to Your faithful people, God of our salvation. AMEN.” (Reformed Book of Common Order)

Jock Hunter, Secretary of the Rats of Tobruk to say a few words…

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a place a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies:
You anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23)

Some words of encouragement:
As a “Rat” I’m sure Eddie would have known full well what it was like to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And now Eddie has gone through the veil of death itself after living a long life. We give thanks for that long life.

But friends, if you have the Good Shepherd walking though the valley with you, travelling through life with you, life with all its hills and valleys, you can know the peace that transcends all understanding.

With the Lord as your shepherd you can know an inner peace, a comfort even in the presence of your enemies. For the Lord is as close as the mention of His name. And the Shepherd protects His flock – even as we go through death’s dark valley.

Scripture says that the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. He says that His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. So we follow Him through the valley of the shadow of death. We come out the other side of death just as He did. He was raised again from the dead and at some future date so will all who follow Him.

Eddie’s remains can remain here until that future date.

Placing the Urn
“Eternal God who has been the dwelling place of our fathers in all generations, be to each of us our strength, our fortress, and our refuge in this day of our affliction, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“O God, who of Thy compassion and pity did send Thy Son into this world to suffer and to die for our salvation, we give Thee thanks for His victory over sin on the cross of Calvary. We thank Thee for His triumph for us over death and for His wondrous resurrection which has brought life and immortality to light for all who believe His glorious Gospel. Grant unto us the assurance that, as Christ rose from the dead and became the first fruits of them that slept, so those who fall asleep in Christ rise with Him.

“Almighty God, who dost continue unto us the solemn trust of life, forgive us all our past unfaithfulness. Remind us now of that day when we too shall be called to render our account to Thee. Raise us, by Thy Holy Spirit, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. Grant that we may so live by faith in Thy dear Son that when we shall depart this life we may hear Him say, “Come ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We ask these things, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ our only Redeemer and Mediator.

“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.” (Reformed Book of Common Order)

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