Eulogy For My Mom, Wanda Soule 12/4/28-4/9/24, delivered on 4/15/24

Christ is Risen!!!

In the Christian East, the greeting between believers during this, the Eastern Season, is just that, Christ is Risen, and the proper response is He is Risen indeed.  So, let me say it again.  Christ is Risen!!!

It’s appropriate that our Lord would take Mom home during the Easter season, because, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t even KNOW that Christ is Risen!
For me, that is the most important legacy that she’s left.

Her father was a Baptist preacher, and she did her best to encourage us to know the Lord.

When I was a child, we were members of the old East Syracuse Methodist Church - until it burned. Back in those days, even public schools provided the opportunity for religious instruction.  And she made sure that, once a week, I’d get on the bus and go to First Baptist of East Syracuse to be taught.

And then, she really did it.  When I was 13, she started going to a Catholic Charismatic prayer group, at Bishop Ludden.  And she had the gall to drag me along!!!!!!  Well, it worked, and on my 14th birthday, I dedicated my life to Christ. 

About a year later, she decided that, as a family, we would start attending Manlius Methodist Church. At that point, I started to really build a foundation for my faith - until I walked away my senior year. 

When I was away at college, she started attending this church - although it wasn’t yet in this building. 

And then, when I came home, she told me that, if I wanted to go to church, it had to be HERE. Not having a car, I didn’t have a choice. And, within a few weeks, I had rededicated my life to Christ.

Not only did I come with her, I stayed for eleven years. In that time, I served as church pianist, new convert counselor, and, eventually, as area leader. Oh, and I met my wife, and I studied for the ministry.

All because my mother doggedly kept reminding me that I needed to follow Jesus.

But, she did more than continue to place me in a position where I would follow Christ.

She always believed that we should serve the Lord in the capacity that we’re able. She encouraged me as a choir member back at Manlius Methodist, as a church pianist here, and later, when I studied for the ministry and was subsequently ordained deacon, she was always supportive.

And she taught by example.  Besides the example of living a moral life, she never forgot that our salvation is not just a relationship with Christ, but that we are a part of the Body of Christ.  Our life as Christians was as part of the church.  In fact, three times, I came home from college, on breaks, or for the last time.  And three times, I walked into a house with some sort of Christian meeting going on.  I was MAD, but I learned the lesson.

It’s because of her that I’m able to say, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life”.  He did that - he bestowed life to her, spiritual life.  And, one day, at the resurrection of the dead, he will take these ashes, her remains, and He will reconstitute  them and perfect them, restoring her to physical life.  And I know that she will want to see each of you there, too.

Until that day, we can say “To the soul of your servant, O Christ, grant rest among the saints, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no mourning, but only life without end”.