Sermon for Funeral of Mary Orr – 12.17.22

+ In Memoriam: Mary Orr – December 17th, 2022 +

Psalm 20; Isiah 12:1-6; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; John 10:27-30

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“A Woman of the Word”


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


Whenever I find myself in someone’s home near a bookshelf I enjoy taking a moment to browse what’s in their library. You can tell a lot about someone by the books they like read.


I remember visiting Mary at home a while back and noticed a neatly stacked pile of books; some she had read, others yet to read. Mary was a reader, a true bibliophile. She enjoyed a good mystery and adventure story, and no doubt countless other kinds of books. Most of all, though, Mary loved reading the Scriptures. God’s word dwelled with her richly and deeply. Her bible was always close by; on the table next to her favorite chair. Whenever she came to church, you could see her, bible in hand, as she came to church and sat down for bible study. It’s a habit we do well to emulate.


Safe to say that everywhere that Mary went, God’s Word was sure to go. Mary was a woman of the Word. In fact, Mary’s love of hearing, reading, learning, and inwardly digesting God’s Word reminds me of several other women named Mary in the Scriptures, who also heard and rejoiced in God’s holy, saving word.


Remember Mary who taught us that there is a time for sitting at Jesus’ feet of Jesus’ and listen to his Word.


Remember how Mary, the Mother of our Lord, responded when the angel Gabriel visited her and announced that she would be the mother of God. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”


Yes, Mary is in good company with the other Mary’s of Scripture. A woman of the Word. A saint, who like the Psalmist prays in Psalm 119 knew that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. One of our Lord’s sheep, who, as Jesus says, hear the voice of Jesus who is our Good Shepherd.


My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. When Mary carried God’s Word with her wherever she went, she did so because our Lord carried her each and every day by his word.


It all began on the day of Mary’s baptism, when our Lord Jesus spoke his creative, life-giving word over the water, washed away her sin, and brought her into his sheepfold for all eternity. By water and God’s word, Jesus drew water from the well of salvation to give Mary eternal life, and no one can ever snatch her out of his hands. Jesus the Good Shepherd does the same for you as well; he leads you beside the still waters of your baptism to sit in the green pastures of his grace and mercy.


Our Lord and His Word kept on following and carrying and comforting Mary throughout her life as well. From her days of studying books in college, to reading books with children and grandchildren; from her time spent keeping books and managing the church office God’s Word of God kept her going.


By his Word Jesus saved Mary, clothed and robed and washed her in the holy garments of his righteousness that covers all her sin, and yours. By his Word Jesus carried Mary through life, as he carries each of you as well. By his word, Jesus died and rose again, walking out of the tomb on Easter Sunday to open the kingdom of heaven to Mary, to you, and to all believers. By his word, Jesus will come again, and raise Mary, and you, and all the saints from the dead on that great day of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.


This is what the psalmist in Psalm 20 is talking about. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.


That’s how Mary lived and died, trusting in the name and word of the Lord who saved her, and saves you. Mary’s faith was not in her own words, but in Jesus’ word. When Jesus speaks things happen: the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised. And, by his Word, will be raised when he comes again in glory when Mary, and all the faithful departed, will rise from the grave by his word.


For Mary, and for you, Jesus is a man of his Word. He is the very Word of God made flesh. God promised by his word to send Jesus, and it happened just as he said. Jesus said he would be handed over and betrayed into the hands of sinful men…and it happened, just as he said. Jesus said he would be crucified, die, and be buried…and it happened just as he said. Jesus said he would rise again from the grave on the third day…and it happened, just as he said. Jesus did and said all of this for Mary, for you, and for all.


There’s one other Mary in Scripture that I left out of the list earlier. This Mary, Mary Magdalene, stood outside of Jesus’ tomb weeping. First an angel and then Jesus came to her saying, “Why are you weeping?” Supposing Jesus to be the gardener she said, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”


And then, Jesus spoke her name. Mary, he said. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. She knew him by his word. So it is for our us all. We know Jesus by His Word and promise. And we are known by Jesus in his Word and promise.


To us, to Mary, and to all who now rest from their labors there will come a day, a day like that first Easter Sunday only greater; a day when it will not be us standing by Jesus’ grave and weeping like Mary Magdalene; a day when it will not be us standing by the grave of our loved ones here, weeping and grieving, but it will be our Lord Jesus standing by our grave, by Mary’s grave. And he will not be weeping. Christ will speak. He shout his creative, powerful, life-giving word once more and declare to Mary and all the faithful, “Awake, o sleeper and rise from the dead.” And we will. By his word.


Until that great day of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, O Lord, let it be to us according to your word.


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.

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

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Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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