A Service of Christian Celebration and Joy

in memory of Roger Edward Wilkins


a member of the Church Triumphant

born on earth September 30, 1955

called home to heaven March 01, 2024


Tuesday, April 23, 2024     2:00 p.m.




Time for Meditation and Silent Prayer                                                                                                           


We Celebrate God’s Grace


Greeting and Invitation To Worship – Pastor


after which the Congregation shall rise


The Invocation                    


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


We have come together to seek God’s comfort in our sorrow and to rejoice in the promise of the resurrection.  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”   May we all find rest and peace from our sorrow through Him today.



The Opening Prayer                       


Lord Jesus, You wept at the grave of Your friend Lazarus, and You consoled Mary and Martha in their distress.  Draw near to us who mourn for Roger, and who grieve with his family.  Dry the tears of all who weep.  Calm our troubled spirit, dispel our doubts and fears, and lead us to praise You for having brought Roger to faith in You.  Through Your rising from the dead You conquered death and opened the gates of heaven to everlasting life for him and for all others who believe.  Comfort and strengthen us now, through Your Holy Word,  and lead us through this earthly life until at last we are united with You and all the saints in heaven before Your glorious and gracious throne.    Amen.

A Scriptural Dialogue of Victory


P: We are here to give strength to one another and to find comfort and joy in God’s holy Word.


C: Our hope and comfort is in Jesus Christ.


P: He was pierced for our transgressions;   He was crushed for our iniquities.


C: the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,     and by His wounds we are healed.


P: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.


C: He is risen indeed!    The firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.    Hallelujah!


P: Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever.


C: I know that my Redeemer lives,     and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed,     yet in my flesh I will see God;    I myself will see Him with my own eyes — I and not another.


P: What shall separate us from the love of Christ?    Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?


C: No,   in all these things were are more than conquerors     through Him Who loved us.


P: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


C: We know that in everything    God works for the good of those who love Him.


P: I know Whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.    I call to the Lord, Who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.


C: Find rest, o my soul,  in God alone;     my hope comes from Him.    He alone is my Rock and my Salvation;    He is my Fortress;    I will not be shaken.


P: My salvation and my honor depend on God;   He is my mighty Rock,  my Refuge.


C: Trust in Him at all times, O people;    pour out your hearts to Him,    for God is our Refuge.




The First Hymn                                                                                     “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”


1 I know that my Redeemer lives;

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives, he lives, who once was dead;

He lives, my ever-living Head!

2 He lives triumphant from the grave;

He lives eternally to save.

He lives all-glorious in the sky;

He lives exalted there on high.


5 He lives to silence all my fears;

He lives to wipe away my tears.

He lives to calm my troubled heart;

He lives all blessings to impart.


7 He lives and grants me daily breath;

He lives, and I shall conquer death.

He lives my mansion to prepare;

He lives to bring my safely there.


8 He lives, all glory to his name!

He lives, my Jesus, still the same.

Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives:

“I know that my Redeemer lives!”



after which the Congregation shall be seated



God’s Word Encourages Us About

The Blessings That Are Ours In A Believer’s

Death And In Christ’s Second Coming


I Thessalonians 4:13-18


     13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you do not grieve in the same way as the others, who have no hope. 14 Indeed, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then in the same way we also believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.    15 In fact, we tell you this by the word of the Lord: We who are alive and left until the coming of the Lord will certainly not go on ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, encourage one another with these words.




Our Savior’s Assurances of Everlasting

Life in Heaven with Him, and of our own

Bodily Resurrection from the Grave Provide us

with Comfort and Confidence in the Face of Death


John 11:1-44


Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 This Mary, whose brother Lazarus was sick, was the same Mary who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair.   3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, saying, “Lord, the one you love is sick!”


4 When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not going to result in death, but it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”


5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed in the place where he was two more days.   7 Then afterwards he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”


8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, recently the Jews were trying to stone you. And you are going back there again?”


9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? If anyone walks around during the day, he does not stumble because he sees this world’s light. 10 But if anyone walks around at night, he stumbles because there is no light on him.”


11 He said this and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.”


12 Then the disciples said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.”


13 Jesus had been speaking about his death, but they thought he was merely talking about ordinary sleep. 14 So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sake that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”


16 Then Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go too, so that we may die with him.”


17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.    18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.   20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary was sitting in the house.


21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”


23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”


24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the Last Day.”


25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies. 26 And whoever lives and believes in me will never perish.  Do you believe this?”


27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”


28 After she said this, Martha went back to call her sister Mary. She whispered, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”

29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet gone into the village, but was still where Martha met him. 31 The Jews who were with Mary in the house consoling her saw that she got up quickly and left. So they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”


33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled.   34 He asked, “Where have you laid him?”


They told him, “Lord, come and see.”


35 Jesus wept.


36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”


38 Jesus was deeply moved again as he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.   


Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, because it has been four days.”


40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone.   Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”


44 The man who had died came out with his feet and his hands bound with strips of linen and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus told them, “Loose him and let him go.”




The Second Hymn                                                                                                            “Be Still My Soul”


1 Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to your God to order and provide;

In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


2 Be still, my soul; your God will undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.

Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while he lived below.



3 Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart

And all is darkened in the vale of tears;

Then you will better know his love, his heart,

Who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.

Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay

From his own fullness all he takes away.


4 Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.



The Devotion                                                                                                           based on Exodus 3:7-10


7 The Lord said, “I have certainly seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry for help because of their slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now indeed, the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me. Yes, I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Come now, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”


I Have Come Down To Deliver Them


We Bring Our Prayers

Before our God and Lord


following the conclusion of the sermon

 the Congregation will rise for


The Prayers of God’s People


Almighty God, heavenly Father, our Eternal Lord….we turn to You in this time of sadness and celebration.  


Though You exist through time and eternity, we are like grass that withers and a flower that fades.  Teach us, then, to number our days, to know how frail we are, and to prepare daily by faith for a blessed end.   Do not permit the sting of the death of our brother in Christ, Roger Wilkins, to make us afraid of our earthly or eternal future.  


We praise and thank You for having brought to faith, the soul of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and fellow believer in Christ.   In the midst of our grief over our loss, we nevertheless rejoice that You guided Roger out of the darkness and damnation of unbelief into the light of saving faith in You.   Thank You Lord, for keeping the promises You made to Roger by taking him from this sinful world on March 1st,  and – for Jesus’ sake – receiving him on that day into the mansions of everlasting glory.  


Help us at all times to look up to and to live for Jesus Who has abolished death and brought life and  immortality to light through the gospel.  Continue to comfort and encourage us through Your Word during  this time of sorrow and separation.  And please give us Your strength so that, though we might feel weak, we will be strong in the Spirit and in faith in You as the God Who always does what is right and best for His children. 


Lead us to rejoice in the truth that when our loved ones die in the Lord they are blessed in going to be with You in heaven, where there will be neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, and where You will wipe away every tear from their eyes. To that end, we pray that You would keep us faithful to You throughout our earthly journey, so that finally when our last hour comes, we may depart in peace, by faith laying hold of the same blessed assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ, for Whom Roger lived and in Whom he died to life everlasting.   All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, as the one, true God, now and forever.  And in Whose name we join in praying…….


Our Father, Who art in heaven,    Hallowed be Thy name;     Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;     Give us this day our daily bread;  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;     And lead us not into temptation;     But deliver us from evil;    For Thine is the Kingdom  and the power     and the glory     forever and ever.  Amen.



Now Dismiss Us, Lord


The Twenty-Third Psalm


The Lord is my Shepherd;  I shall not want; 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;

He leadeth me beside still waters;   He restoreth my soul;

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake;

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

 I will fear no evil;

For Thou art with me;  

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me;

Thou preparest a table before me

 in the presence of mine enemies;

Thou anointest my head with oil;    

My cup runneth over;

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

 all the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.



The Benediction


The LORD bless you and keep you.

The LORD make His face shine upon you

     and be gracious unto you.

The LORD look with favor upon you, and give you His peace. 



after which the Congregation may be seated for


Closing Hymn                                                                                                                     “Abide With Me”


Abide with me   fast falls the eventide  

The darkness depends, Lord with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee.   

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.


Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.  

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.

Change and decay in all around I see.  

Oh Thou Who changest not, abide with me.


I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless.  

Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.

Where is death’s sting?   Where, grave, Thy victory? 

 I triumph still if Thou abide with me.


Hold Thou, Thy cross, before my closing eyes.   

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies

Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee.

  In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.