Funeral Sermon for Joe Henderson

My friend, brother in Christ, fellow Church-member, and Boss, Charlie Henderson recently lost his father, Joe Henderson, in a sudden and unexpected way. Charlie was able to preach his father’s funeral and clearly present the Gospel to a large gathering of his family and friends. He has allowed me to post the sermon notes here.

We Meet to EULOGIZE Joe.
THANKS from family, not only for faithful care & concern now, but the friendship throughout Daddy’s life.
TRIBUTE to Joe’s popularity, by the scores of people Coming by, Calling on phone, & Commenting on the WBIR blog.
EULOGY from the Greek “to speak well of” & that’s one thing that has been done by all concerning my Dad.
LIST of Descriptions for Dad: Loving Father, Devoted Husband, Faithful Friend, An Always Aggravator, C.P. Member & Elder, Kentucky Colonel, Master Auctioneer & Real Estate Broker, Army Veteran & National Guardsman, Union Man & 32 degree Mason , a Shriner & Past Master, a Ruritan Member and past President, a “Not-so-silent” business partner & Helper.
The List could go on and on. But Joe was famous for other things, such as:
The SAYINGS he had & The WAYS he said things.
SAYINGS: “A Whiskey Glass & a Woman’s Ass, have Ruint many a good man”, “You never know somebody till it comes to a Dollar Bill or a Foot of Ground”, For our TVA Friends: “The Sucks will be there when the Kin-Folks are Gone” and for those of us in Business: “Beware of a Place with Bible Verses on the Walls.” and Many more we all could share.
The WAY HE SAID THINGS– His own Special DIALECT: “hinner-son/Henderson, “year”/Ear, “Plaz-kiccc/ Plastic, “Ox-key-gun/Oxygen, “Hi-way-yer”/Hawaii, and again the list on and on.
In fact, upon his retirement from TVA, he was presented with a copy of his own special DICTIONARY documenting his language so that others might better communicate with him.

We also meet to EMPHASIZE Jesus. Daddy was a Christian and was Trusting in Christ and was ready to meet his Maker.
As I think about Daddy’s Life and as I try to Process this Loss and as I try to find Perspective, I have to turn to Scripture.
I have been teaching through the book of Philippians and am fascinated by the life & teachings of the Apostle Paul.
And I think of the similarities between Paul and Joe. Like Paul, Joe was a “Straight Shooter” who would tell it like it was.
And that’s what Paul does in Philippians 3:1-14.
Paul gives us his perspective on life & life’s achievements as LOSS apart from Christ.
As Paul would say elsewhere in 1 Cor. 15, we would be of all men most Pitiful apart from the resurrection.
Joe Henderson, like the Apostle Paul, had a Laundry List of Achievements & many Accolades of Praise.
Yet, if Daddy could speak to us now, knowing what he knows now, he would say it is all loss without Christ.
Daddy would say as the Hymnist sang: “Nothing in my Hands I Bring, Solely to the Cross I Cling, Hidden in the Savior’s Side, by His Spirit Sanctified!”
Another favorite saying of Joe, “Ain’t Nobody Lily White!” (Although I did meet a Mrs. Lily White last night).
What Daddy meant was that no ones perfect. Paul said he sure wasn’t perfect, but there is one who was & is, Jesus Christ.
It is He, and Only he, who can take a Sinner like Joe was , or like you or me are, who used to walk among us & transform them into a Saint like daddy now is who now worships the Lamb of God in heaven.
No, Daddy wasn’t Lily White and he wasn’t perfect, but now he is, because he is with the one who is Jesus!
Joe’s Perspective Now is what Paul’s was Then, and what our’s should be forever more, all things are loss and Rubbish, without Christ and Christ Alone.
RE-READ (vv.12-14).
Joe has Attained, he is Perfected, he did Press on, all because Christ Laid Hold of him.
Another famous saying of Daddy’s was about people “Having to be the Body in the Casket”.
Well now that’s that you Daddy, You are the Body in the Casket, Yet more Importantly your Soul is in heaven with your Savior, You are with Jesus & I know I will see you again!
And I Rejoice that you will have a better, newer Body, Not this old worn out, mangled & messed up one in the casket, but a Resurrected, Glorified, Perfect Body upon the lord’s Return. One with no more Pain and no more Shame.
We’ve met to EULOGIZE Joe, and that we’ve done and will continue to do in our community for days to come.
We’ve also met to EMPHASIZE Jesus, without whom Joe would have had no hope, and I believe we’ve done that as well.

Finally, We also meet to EVANGELIZE You, those he loved and who loved him enough to come tonight and pay him respect.
I challenge you to EXAMINE & Judge yourself. Do you know Joe’s Jesus? Joe would want you to!
It’s not about your RULES, or RELIGION, It’s about a Real RELATIONSHIP with the Savior.
Daddy was a Good Man. Daddy was a Good Ole’ Boy, BUT Daddy needed God’s GRACE; and so do you, & so do I!
Daddy wouldn’t want me up here “BROADCASTING” all night, so I will Sit down & Let Daddy’s Life Stand for itself.
I catch myself calling what happened to Daddy as a TRAGEDY, but it was really a TRIUMPH of a life-long race that was ran well.
The Real Tragedy could happen Tonight, if you leave this place without heeding Paul’s Advice & Joe’s Advice, by not Trusting in Christ, and Christ Alone! It’s not in a Man’s Goodness, but by God’s Amazing Grace!
So I say Good-bye to my Earthly Father and Thank-you to my Heavenly Father!


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