Funeral Sermon for Pat Onorato

Patricia Ann Onorato (nee Scheiderer) formerly of Columbus, Ohio fell asleep in her Savior on October 8, 2013 after 81 years of grace. She was born to Herman and Marie (Coleman) Scheiderer of Marysville, Ohio on December 15, 1931 and was gifted with the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation when her parents brought her to the Word and water of baptism on January 13, 1932. She confirmed her faith in the Triune God in 1946. On August 7, 1954 she united with Carl Onorato, Jr. in matrimony; the couple had two children.
She is survived by 2 sons, Carl III of Jacksonville, Florida and John of Tomah, 2 granddaughters, and brother Donald of Pataskala, Ohio. She will be lovingly remembered by future daughter-in-law Sarah Liewergen.
Patricia was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Don… Carl… John… Sarah… Family and Friends of Pat

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

From our Epistle Reading: “I am convinced that neither death nor life… nor anything in all creation will be able to separation us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is what I want you to take home with you today. This is the comfort I give to you today as we remember, as we commend our sister in Christ to the Lord’s care. Nothing can separate YOU from the love of God in Christ Jesus… and nothing can or will separate Pat from the love of God in Christ Jesus. It’s already a done deal, for her… and for you.

I’m sure over the last few days you have shared memories of Pat. I’ve heard a few myself. After this service, the story telling and the shared memories will continue. These things you will have with you.

Today I would like to share with you the story of Patricia Ann Onorato… but from a heavenly perspective. This is the story she wanted told to you today. She made sure of it by giving you the outlines in her obituary. But actually Pat’s story began long before December 15, 1931.

Before the foundations of the world were laid, God already had Pat in mind. He chose her to be His own. Before the earth was formed, before God took that earth and made our first parents, Adam and Eve… Pat was already chosen to be a child of God even though she wouldn’t come on the scene for some time.

Of course, you know how it went with those first parents of ours. Temptation, sin, and now… a fallen creation. But God gave Eve a promise. That her enemy, and the enemy of all her children, the serpent would be crushed by her offspring… Jesus.

So we can trace Pat’s story right from the beginning, and through God’s Word… This last summer I got to spend a decent amount of time with Pat, and with you John and Sarah… we talked about a few of these stories… stories she learned in Sunday School and in Confirmation… stories… true stories mind you, of Abraham, of Joseph, of Moses, of David… yes even of the really obscure names like Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz… and the story of the prophet Micah… who wrote the words of our OT reading… words that remind us that all that we have and can do… none of that will get us closer to God… in fact… we come before Him empty handed.

But this is how the love of God works. He chooses the weak, the lowly… he chooses sinnners like us who have nothing to give… and The Lord gives us the treasures of heaven… He gives us His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus is where we find that love of God… it is in Christ – Immanuel God with us, God in the flesh. God loved Pat… and He loved you John, Sarah, and each one of you here today, in this way: He sent His only begotten son. And here’s the result – whoever believes in Him… whoever trusts that Jesus has come to save them, to forgive them, shall not perish but have eternall life.

When I visited with Pat, and John and Sarah on Monday, we heard again this story of God’s love for Pat… the story of God’s love for us. We spent time prayin with one another, singing hymns, and most of all hearing God’s Word. We heard once again the Passion of our Lord Jesus. We heard of this Love of God that is so deep, broad and high that Christ bore Pat’s sins and our sins to the cross. How even in the midst of His sufffering, He cried out “Father forgive them.”

We heard once again the story of God’s loved for Pat, and God’s love for you, how on the third day, Christ was risen from the dead.

Pat believed this… she believed that what Jesus did was for her. Of this there is no doubt. This faith was a gift given to her on January 13, 1932 in the waters of Holy Baptism. In those waters the Holy Spirit gave Pat that new life in Christ.

In Baptism, Pat was united with Christ’s death and resurrection. This is why today, even in the midst of our tears and mourning, we have a certain hope. Christ is risen, and so too, Pat will be raised on the last day…

You see, Pat”s story does not end here or in Columbus. Indeed, Pat will be laid to rest. But she now waits for CHrist’s return. She with all the saints now sing with us, in that heavenly chorus saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabbaoth, Heaven and Earth are filled with Your Glory,, Hosanna, Hosannna, Hosanna, in the Highest, blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord.”

John, Sarah, Family, and Friends of Pat… today, take heart. Nothing can separate us, nothing has separated Pat from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Not life, not death, not anything in all of Creation. Of this we can say: “this is most certainly true.”

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