Monday, November 22, 2010

Earl Netzley Has Been Called Home

Our dear brother in Christ, Earl Netzley (father of Tanarae Lemmermann), was called home by our Lord early this morning.  Earl was a member of our mother congregation, Immanuel, Wheeler.  He and his wife, Nilah, have been living at Arbor Grove here in Alma for some time, and I was asked to provide pastoral care to them these last few weeks.  It has been a pure pleasure getting to know Earl and his family.  Earl has had quite the battle health-wise - a battle that began many years ago, but was graciously brought to a peaceful end this morning.  He had been on dialysis three times a week since February and, after suffering another heart attack a few weeks back, he had simply had enough.  He decided to discontinue dialysis last Monday and allow the Lord to take him home when He was ready.  His hope and prayer was that the Lord would grant him to see his 83rd birthday and spend it with his beloved family, and the Lord was gracious to grant that request this past Saturday, as Earl was blessed to celebrate that birthday surrounded by those he loved.  He also desired to receive Holy Communion one last time together with his family that day, and the Lord graciously answered this prayer as well, as I was privileged to distribute the Blessed Sacrament of our Lord's very Body and Blood to Earl and family on Saturday afternoon.  Yeah, our Lord is good!  I stopped by to see Earl and pray with him yesterday after Bible Study.  He had grown much weaker than he was the previous day and was lying in his bed.  We had a good chat and shared a couple of laughs together.  Earl was in good spirits.  He knew his time was short, but he was ready to go.  His desire, shared by his family, was that the Lord would take him home quickly and peacefully, and so we prayed thusly yesterday.  And, again, our Lord was gracious to hear and answer us, for Earl was blessed to transition from this vale of tears and into the bliss of heaven peacefully and quietly in his sleep sometime after 3:00 a.m. this morning.  Did I mention that our Lord is good?! 

Earl remained in the one, true, faith right up to the very end.  He has now received the crown of life and has been reunited with those faithful loved ones who preceded him in passing through death and into life.  Please keep his family in your prayers, that they may be comforted by the Gospel which assures them that Earl is with our Lord and all His saints and angels, and that they will see him again when the Lord calls them home. 

Visitation will be at Smith Family Funeral Home in Ithaca (1333 East Center St.) tomorrow (Tuesday) from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The Funeral Service will be held at Immanuel, Wheeler, and conducted by me, on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.

Earl knew that his Redeemer lives.  So do I.  So do you.  So does his family.  What an absolute blessing it is to be filled with that knowledge and gifted with that faith.  We do not mourn like those who have no hope.  Thanks be to God for that!  He IS our Shepherd and we shall not want!  We shall dwell in His House forever!  
Let us pray:  O God of grace and mercy, we give thanks for Your loving-kindness shown to our brother, Earl, and to all Your servants who, having finished their course in faith, now rest from their labors.  Grant that we also may be faithful unto death and receive the crown of eternal life.  Be with Earl's family in their time of sorrow and fill them with the comfort and peace which comes from knowing that a joyful reunion in heaven awaits all who trust in Jesus Christ; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

You can read Earl's obituary here.

+ Rest eternal grant Earl, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him!  Amen. +

1 comment:

IggyAntiochus said...

Thank you for providing spiritual care for Earl and his family (who happen to be part of my extended family!). Are you going to post the sermon you delivered as well?