The Reading from Luke 4.18-21 was chosen because it is for an International Order of St. Luke the Healer service. Sue was a long-time OSL Member. Her life was filled with self-sacrificial love for others. She proclaimed the Good News of God’s grace, love, forgiveness and healing “with words only if necessary” as Francis of Assisi would say.
11. Jesus came into a world like our own
People were traumatized by the Roman occupation and without hope from a religion that was ‘going political’ and losing its authenticity and relevance. Instead of divinely inspired prophets the Jewish religious leaders had become religious politicians. Just like in our own time.
2. Jesus says “this prophecy is fulfilled in your hearing”
This should make your hair stand on end. Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah, the anointed one, who would save God’s people:
· Jesus supernatural healing miracles were clear evidence of His authenticity as the long--promised Saviour. .
· The Good News of Jesus was His promise of forgiveness of the sin that separated people from a holy God, supernatural physical and spiritual healing and eternal spiritual life for believers.
3. Good News Is Jesus Is Still Reaching Out In Love
Jesus is still sending His Holy Spirit and anointing people to proclaim the Good News of divine love, forgiveness, , supernatural healing and eternal spiritual life:
· Some like Sue proclaim the love of Jesus by reaching out in love to care for the broken, lost and lonely – including all of us at her grave today
· Others are anointed with spiritual gifts of healing. Our late daughter Mary was with a healing team at a workshop in BC. They were praying for a woman who had severe headaches. Her leg grew 3 inches – to match the other one.
· Some people are anointed with the gift of spiritual healing. I was at another healing conference where a very unhappy woman was being prayed for. In deep prayer she and the prayer minister could both see a vision of her as a little girl of 5. A big tall postman had tripped over her discarded bicycle, stared down at her and shouted “You stupid little girl you will never amount to anything”. She had believed this lie and given it supernatural as well as psychological power over her. The minister brought Jesus into the picture and asked her to ask Jesus if she really was a stupid little girl who would never amount to anything. Things are very legalistic in the supernatural dimension. She had to repent believing the lie before the counsellor could give her absolution in Jesus name and pray the healing presence of the Holy Spirit over her. We were all amazed to see the physical change in her appearance as she went from downcast and sad to radiant and glowing with joy.
4. Experiences of Supernatural Healing Give Us Hope
Like most people I had trouble believing in the supernatural healing miracles in the Bible until I experienced the Holy Spirit in my own life:
· Jesus mission for the Church is to proclaim this Good News so that peoples’ spiritual eyes are opened and they can be set free from the spiritual prisons of ignorance and spiritual bondage
Tribute To Susan (Sue) Lennie
(Rev. John Gishler, long-time personal friend)
The best tribute to Sue is the reaction of the many people across Canada whose lives she affected. Her lifelong friend Maggie, who is here today and is her executor, has been swamped with calls from Halifax to Toronto to Victoria from people who knew her. Some knew her at Shell where she worked in HR for 30 years in Toronto and Calgary. Others knew her at Grace Church On-the-Hill Toronto and Christ Church Elbow park in Calgary.
One example is the young woman who called the house to check on Sue’s lawn service. She burst into tears as she explained she had long chats with sue every time she called. She is fondly remembered as a caring soul who was a reliable friend in need, wise counselor and long-time pastoral care worker. She really did feed the hungry and care for those in need.
One tiny example of this was last week when I was driving Maggie to the funeral home. She wanted to stop two doors down the street and tell a neighbour of Sue’s passing. From the car I could see the man was visibly moved.
My own experience goes back 30 years to Grace Church On-the-Hill where I was a student minister. Sue welcomed us and even did a cake for my ordination reception. Much later when our daughter Mary died in Calgary it was probably Sue who left the mysterious gifts of prepared meals on our doorstep.
Sue was also active in the Calgary Newcomers Club. She would meet with the volunteers and deliver welcome baskets to newcomers.
Sue did not have any children of her own – so she volunteered to hold newborn babies in hospitals. She was fondly known as “Grandma Sue.
Sue reminded us all that love is a gift that multiplies and bounces back as it is given.
She was a good and faithful servant following Jesus commission to Peter to “take care of my lambs and feed my sheep”.