Funeral Sermon for Arlo Olson

+ In Memoriam – Arlo Olson – December 3rd, 2022 +

Isaiah 46:3-4; Romans 8:31-39; John 14:1-6

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“The Delivery Man”


Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


There’s a famous speech by radioman Paul Harvey that begins this way…


“And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.”


And even though Arlo realized at an early age that farming was not his calling or vocation in life, seems to me that the same could be said of his life driving trucks. God said, “I need someone to sit behind the wheel of a long-haul truck for eighteen hours so people the driver doesn’t know and will never meet can have food on their tables and clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet.” So God made a trucker.


God said, “I need someone who will haul heavy equipment from one construction site to another so people have a place to live and work; someone with calloused hands but a compassionate heart; someone to deliver what folks need.” So God made a trucker.


From what I’ve come to know, that was Arlo. A delivery man. And not just outside the home, but in the home, with family and friends a well. Whether he was with his own family at home or at church with the family of God, Arlo was still a delivery man, sharing the love and compassion Christ had first given him with others around him.


After all, it was our Lord Jesus who first delivered Arlo out of sin and death in the waters of holy baptism. There by water and God’s word, Arlo was united with Christ’s death and resurrection. As Paul writes in Colossians 1, God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


That’s the sure and certain promise Jesus delivered to Arlo and delivers to all of you who are baptized in his holy name.


God’s deliverance is not a one-time job, however. And so throughout Arlo’s life, from Minnesota to Milton, our Lord Jesus continued to deliver his saving word and forgiveness to Arlo. Even as Arlo walked through the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus the Good Shepherd was with him. Delivering him through death to his presence forever. Our Lord does the same for you as well. This is what he promises through his prophet Isaiah.


 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.


I will carry. I will bear. I will save. It is for you as it was for Arlo – all by God’s grace. The prophet Isaiah foretells what Jesus fulfills in the New Testament. That our Lord Jesus is the greatest delivery man of them all.


On days like today when we grieve and mourn. On days when our own sin and failures overwhelm. On days when death itself stares us in the face. On days when we long for our Lord to deliver us, we cry out with St. Paul the words of Romans 8:

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Indeed he will. He already has. Christ our Lord has delivered you as he delivered Arlo. Jesus took our sin and guilt, our fear and shame, our doubts and worries, even death itself and he loaded it like a weighed down eighteen wheeler, all upon his shoulders as he went to the cross to deliver you. And that means that nothing -neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And yet, that was not the end of the road for our Lord. It was the end of sin and death and the power of the devil, but it was the beginning of new life and resurrection for you and Arlo and all who believe. The salvation job was completed on the cross, but Jesus seals his victory over sin and death with a long-haul through the grave and out again in his resurrection on the third day for Arlo and for you.

Because of that great act of deliverance – Jesus’ death for you and his resurrection for you – he promises to deliver you and Arlo once again. Even now, as he told his disciples, he is preparing a place for you with him. Even now as we rejoice that we have been delivered from sin and death, we long for and look forward to another great deliverance, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Even as we grieve, we do so with hope in the resurrection of our flesh and a joyful reunion with those we love who have died in the faith.

For our Lord promises you, as he promised Arlo, that “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”


This is who our Lord is and what he does for Arlo and for you. Jesus delivers you. He delivered you from sin and death by his dying and rising. And he will deliver you, along with Arlo and all the faithful departed, yet again. A deliverance into a new creation, into a new and glorified yet physical, bodily resurrection. He will deliver us into his eternal presence where we will stand with Arlo and all the saints in the resurrection of our flesh, standing before the Lamb, forever praising his great deliverance.


Until that day, the Lord continue to deliver his goods of life and salvation to you.


And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus to life everlasting. Amen.



Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977