Exodus 19:1-25

26 Nov 2023

Exodus 19:1-25

Passage Exodus 19:1-25

Speaker Neil Hayden

Series Exodus: The God who saves


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Sa sa sa sa sa.

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom then shall I fear?

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness.

Well, on behalf of her family and the family of all saints Totley here in Sheffield, let me welcome you to our service this afternoon, celebrating the life of Doctor Ruth Pavlovic. We meet in the name of Jesus Christ, who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father. Grace and mercy be with you. We've come here today to remember before God our sister Ruth, to give thanks for her life, to commend her to God, our merciful redeemer and judge, and to comfort one another in our grief.

Well, as we gather here today, we'll all bring particular memories of Ruth, of all that she brought to our lives. I actually never had the opportunity to meet Ruth, but it was brilliant sitting down with her parents, Pat and Alan, and hearing about her life. And what's been amazing is, ever since first meeting Pat and Alan, I've had people come up to me saying, oh, I hear. I hear that Ruth's service is coming up. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Let me tell you of the difference that she made to my life. Let me tell you about how incredible she is. Ruth really was a remarkable lady, wasn't she? Our service today is a time for us really to do three things. Firstly, to give thanks to God for Ruth's life, and especially to remember all that she meant to so many of us.

Today is a sad day and emotions are welcome. And at the same time as it being sad, we want to pierce through the sadness with a note of thanks for all that Ruth meant to so many of us on all that she gave to this world. The second thing this service is all about is coming together to comfort and support one another in our grief, and especially to extend our support to her close family, to Pat and Alan, to Hugo, to Alex, to Juergens, to Judy, to CJ, to Amy, to Abby and to so many others. And finally, on occasions like this, as we meet together, we're confronted with the reality of our life, thinking about the realities of life and death and the big issues and our own standing before God. And so, as we come together to do all of those things, let me lead us in a prayer.

God of all consolation, your son Jesus Christ was moved to tears at the grave of Lazarus. Friend. Look with compassion on your children in their loss. Give to troubled hearts the light of hope and strengthen us in the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Our hymns this afternoon are picked because they were some of Ruth's favourites. And our first one is actually a prayer, a very poignant prayer, that today and in all days, that by day and by night, at all stages of life, God might be our vision, our hope, our shelter and a comforting presence. So if you would like to please do join me in standing and let's sing this song together.

Be thou my vision o lord of my heart not be all else to me save that thou art now my best lord by day or by night waking and sleeping thy presence my light be thou my wisdom be thou my true word I ever with thee now with me Lord, thou my great father I by true son thou with me dwelling and I with the one be thou my shield and my sword for the fight be thou my dignity be thou my mind, thou my soul shelter and bow my highness hash town raise down the heavenward o power of my power riches I need not no man's empty praise thou my inheritance hash now and always thou will be first in my heart high king of heaven my treasure thou art high king of heaven when victory is won may I reach heaven's choice o bright heaven sun heart of my own heart whatever before still be my way.

Thank you. Please do be seated.

Well, few here would argue with me if I said that Ruth lived an incredible life. And throughout our afternoon, we have got four people who are going to be bringing particular memories of different parts of Ruth's life for us. Our first is her sister, Judy. And so I'm going to invite you to come and to share your memories of Ruth.

My sister. A eulogy is a difficult concept. How do you condense an amazing life into four minutes? Especially when, despite a life cut so sadly short, Ruth managed to fit more into her 50 years than most people do in her time on this side of heaven. Her unassuming ability to connect with people, a joie de vivre, her endless font of ideas and creativity, and her strong, bright spirit seem unmatched to me.

Perhaps she was my hero. She did recently refer to me as being her wingman, and, as such, in a rather unique position on this earth, which means more than I can express. We didn't actually start out that close. In fact, some years ago she apologised to me for picking the stuffing out of my crib mattress as a baby, a fact that at the time I was, of course, blissfully unaware of. There was also the one school lunchtime where I suddenly found myself being sat on and large amounts of cut, dried grass being stuffed down my underwear, much to the glee of Ruth and her friends.

But overall, we were friends as well as sisters, Ruth and I against the world, whether that was time spent playing cricket on the side lawn for hours, where, naturally, she got to be batter and I was endless bowler and fielder rolled into one, or whether it was time spent making bows and arrows and trying to shoot at the young builder apprentices bike spokes. Sorry, poor kid. As he rode away, we had each other's back. I guess even then I was the goose to her maverick. Ruth was always up for adventure, and when I moved to Cardiff, the university, she was living in Birmingham by then and would often spontaneously call me to see if I was around.

Mostly I was, which was just as well, because by the time she called, she'd already been bombing down the motorway and was now only about ten minutes away. Once she turned up after some bad news, with a large stuffed dog and some chocolates in her hands for me, she was always supportive and empathetic. I remember some wise advice about decision making that she gave me once, and I'd like to pass that on to you. She said that when weighing up a decision, it helped to see whether the choice felt hard, like water bouncing off a rock, or if it felt soft, like water being soaked up into a sponge. The soft soaking in feeling of the water would be the right decision.

Mostly. I can't tell you how many times I've already gone to send her a picture or a comment and have missed the conversation that would have ensued. Her real pride and joy and the love of her life was Hugo, her best boy. I know. He was her light.

Always. We were very lucky to have spent some holidays together with our children, Hugo, CJ, Amy and Abby, and most recently this summer, we all spent a week together with mum, dad and Neil at a cottage in the Lake District. We celebrated her five year cancer survivorship with great food cooked over her new washing machine drum fire pit, and I'm glad we got to ride a boat on Derwent water together, which she told me was she thought her favourite place on earth. She loved spending time hiking in the peaks and afterwards having some good coffee and cake, preferably chocolate, or coffee and walnut in a little coffee shop, or mooching around some antique or jewellery shops. She loved live music and action.

She loved having mulled wine and wandering at a Christmas market, or having a good conversation with a glass of prosecco to celebrate. Or just because her will and her prayers and those of her family and friends got her to so many places. I'm not sure who else you know, who could be a dedicated mum raising their boy, learn the cello, write a 20,000 word thesis, buy beautifully, renovate a house, retire and restart a career, amongst other things, within a five year timeframe. And I'm so proud of her. I know that she knew how loved she was.

And the depth of our loss is immense.

Thank you so much. Judy. Come to listen to our Bible reading for this afternoon. And Annie is going to come and read that for us.

The reading is from John, chapter 14, verses one to seven.

Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may also be. And where I go, you know and the way you know. And Thomas said unto him, lord, we know not where you go and how can we know the way? And Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the father but by me.

If you had known me, you should have known my father also. And from henceforth, you know him and have seen him.

Thank you, Annie. What should our response to death be?

Sometimes death comes suddenly and unexpectedly. Sometimes death can be seen a long way off. Other times, it's perhaps a mixture of both. But anyway, it comes. It leaves us who are here left having to cope with the loss, doesn't it?

A day like today brings with it all sorts of emotions, but also all sorts of questions. And some of those questions aren't questions with easy answers. And yet, as I wrote that sentence, I began to think they were the kind of questions that Ruth enjoyed, weren't they? The questions without easy answers, the ones she could apply her mind to, that incredible intellect of hers. Perhaps these questions without easy answers that are not just difficult questions, but deeply pastoral questions where she could apply not just her immense mind, but her immense heart, would have been exactly the kind of questions she would have wanted to ponder and reflect on and care for people by thinking through difficult questions like, why does death always come as a shock?

As human beings, we should be used to endings, shouldn't we? Everything seems to end, and yet we never get used to death. In fact, the phrase used to death, it jars with us, doesn't it?

Why does it always feel so wrong? Why is it that if Ruth had lived to a hundred, it wouldn't have been long enough, let alone 50? Why does it feel like we've been robbed of the next chapters of the book? Like there should be another movement in the symphony that isn't there? Like there should be another thesis to be written, or two, or three.

There should be another degree to be won, another hug to be given, another holiday to be enjoyed. Why is it that death always feels like an unfinished sentence?

Don't you think? Ruth, given that she thought through so much, asked that question. One of Ruth's friends only last weekend, was telling me how much they respected Ruth as a person. And then they found she had such a deep christian faith as well. Anyone who tells you, incidentally, that intellectual integrity and a personal faith are incompatible need look no further than Doctor Ruth Pavlovic.

Indeed, Ruth travelled this earth in part, to hold out the answer to those kinds of questions. Why death feels so wrong. Jesus helped us in that passage that Annie so kindly just read. As he approached his own death, he prepared his disciples for theirs. In the face of his death, he said, do not be troubled.

He says, in essence, you have nothing to fear. They know that the very next day, Jesus is going to give up his life. But Jesus told his close friends not to let their hearts be troubled. Jesus wasn't going to remain dead, but would rise again and go to his father in heaven, where he would prepare a place for his friends, like Ruth, to join him. You see, death feels so wrong, says Jesus, because we were made for something more.

We were made to enjoy eternity. And that can be really hard for us to understand, especially on a day like today. It was certainly hard for Thomas in that passage, wasn't it? He asked Jesus how he could follow him into heaven, and Jesus answered, you can find hope in the face of death, because I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Spending time listening to Ruth's life, she knew that. She believed that Jesus was the way, because as we trust in Jesus, we're put right with God. And in doing that, I think that set Ruth free.

You see, I don't think I know very many people who can be the person who makes their friends cry with laughter and enjoys the quiet solitude of a deep thinking book or piece of music. I don't think I know many people who would drive the length of the country to drop off some chocolates and a card to a loved one and at the same time be somebody who would soldier on a bike journey, even though she had broken fingers. Very few people who could write a thesis and have such deep love for her family that she would go and ride trains, bumpy trains in Wales, to spend time with them.

Knowing that she was right with God gave her a great capacity, a great capacity to love others. Even when she was hurting herself.

She knew Jesus was the way. She knew him to be the truth. He's the truth because Jesus was God himself. And so it's through him that we get to know God. She knew Jesus to be a truth that would stand up to academic scrutiny.

We're talking about a lady who has a teenager, went to bed having a geography project, knowing it was already an a. And whilst others slept, she ripped it up and rewrote it for the love of getting it right. This is a lady who found Jesus satisfied that intellectual curiosity. She knew him to be the way, the truth. She also knew him to be the life.

The life, because when he died and rose again, he provides a way that we can follow him into eternal life. Ruth lived life to the full, didn't she? And even as she did that, she believed in the christian belief that when we meet Jesus, we are even more alive than we ever had been before.

So Jesus says, death need not be a close all to us, a source of fear. To us today, yes, it is a source of great pain and sadness. But whatever the uncertainties we may face in this life, there is hope even in the face of death. And we find that hope only as we trust in Jesus the way, the truth and the life. Now, there's lots to take in on a day like today.

So I want to offer you, please take one of these away with you. Hope to carry on, written by people who have sat where you are, who have seen hope even in the face of death. Please do take one of those with you for free at the end. But let me lead us in a prayer. Loving heavenly father, you are tender towards your children and your mercy is offered freely to all.

Be with us today, offer us hope, be with us in our tears and give us the wisdom and grace to use aright the time that is left to us here on earth. To turn to Christ, to follow his steps in the way that leads to everlasting life. In his name we pray. Amen.

I spoke of how Ruth, even when hurting, longed to help others. One of the ways she did that was with a fantastic medical career. And so I'm going to hand over to Richard to find out more about that time in her life. Richard, thank you all.

Thank you for the privilege, first of all, of allowing me to share memories of a remarkable woman who I've known for 32 years. Ruthie was one of the first people I met at medical school in September September 1991, when we had neighbouring rooms in our student halls of residence at Guy's hospital. Several of us here were her flatmates in those early years. And in celebrating our friend, I think I'm speaking not only for myself, but for all of us who have known her over the years. I'm grateful now that I met Ruthie when she was at her best, when life was young and we were starting out on our adult lives together.

A deep friendship rooted in shared experience, where, after perhaps not seeing her for months on end, we'd peck up from where we left off. Her taste for adventure, her stamina, her perseverance, her lack of insight into personal danger, combined with a ferocious art of persuasion, would result in the creation of many epic adventures which often went slightly wrong in our university rag week. Our sponsored cycle ride to Paris got off to an inauspicious start when Rufi fell off on Westminster Bridge. She cycled the rest of the 300 miles route with a broken finger. K wiring surgery could wait until her return.

That blue bike did a lot of miles in those early years while she rode, learnt to dive, rock climb and commuted to church and hospital. Five of us rented a house in Camberwell. In our second year. Ruthie had the top back room. Maybe her love of studying in a rooftop garret began there, although the ice forming on the inside of the window was possibly a bit much, even for her.

Our rental ended abruptly when we were all evicted and the house repossessed due to the landlord's rent arrears. And we found ourselves in emergency rooms in Bermondsey mission. And then several years of flat shares in the insalubrious underbelly of Elephant and Castle, Henshaw street and the notorious Brandon street, where once a full police SWAT team greeted her at the door. Probably a case of mistaken identity. Life was so full in those early years, that study came a clear second, helpful in those situations.

To have a brain the size of a small planet and the capacity to go for several days, apparently without the need for bodily function or other sleep, and to subsist only on pitta bread. So in the days leading up to the exams, she would become a complete hermit. So much so that at one point we papered over her door with a drawing of a sheep.

None of us can actually recollect when Ruthie first earned her sheep nickname, but it stuck, though, and she's been sheepy ever since. When she was an usher at my wedding, we've got a classic photo. Somehow she'd ended up behind me directly. Her face was obscured by mine, and I had this golden fleecy halo framing my head. By the time the third year came around, Ruthie took a break from medicine for a full year of intellectual delight.

She chose to do a BSc in experimental pathology. In the process perhaps starting her quest to collect a longer Alphabet of postgraduate qualifications than any other person. She became something of an obsessive and would stay at the lab all hours, returning home later and later, until the infamous night when, forgetting her keys, she stole a ladder from a nearby building site, scaled the backyard wall, and then woke Jim to let her in by gently tapping Morse code so's on his first floor windowpane. We wonder whether she was actually studying levitation.

Rufie's subversive streak would sometimes lead others astray, so Paul was coaxed to borrow a beer barrel. She persuaded Liz to trophy hunt a bar stool and later to consume herbal chocolates before her parents collected her at the end of terminal. Later on, Liz experienced a spontaneous full immersion baptism in Trafalgar Square. Shortly after becoming a Christian. She instigated the kidnapping of Declan for a weekend away, unbeknownst to his future wife, Jodie.

And she even stowed herself away in Paul and Viv's going away car after their wedding. Always an impish sense of humour. She outdid herself at my stag weekend, travelling for 4 hours by public transport for our supposedly mystery cottage in Kidwelly, Wales, solely for the purpose of leaving a tray of eggs and a message, the hens are watching you outside the door, before she caught the train back to London.

Loyalty and persistence were traits Rufie possessed in abundance. She always wanted to go deeper in her work, in her christian faith, always challenging superficial thought, at times feisty in argument. Friendship could be hard work, but was always rewarding. And she was quite impossible to say no to. Ruthie always took the path less travelled, such as on her medical elective with Paul, to Madagascar, where she delighted in being a malagasy millionaire.

She received two marriage proposals on that trip. Both declined with uncommon tact. Their research into the nutritional effects of goat nuts milk was thwarted by every attempt to purchase le Lede Sheriff from the disbelieving local traders. Mischievous and subversive, maverick and unconventional, with utter joie de vivre, hungry for experience, both incredibly organised and utterly chaotic. Brilliant and fierce.

Faithful and protective. We will miss our friendly sheep. She did not go gently into that good night, but she fought with bravery, with dignity and with rage, and ultimately with acceptance of a life well lived. I wonder now what mountain pasture lies in store for her. I cannot imagine it will be anything other than thank you, Richard.

How fitting, as we hear about sheepy sheep. Ruthie, Ruth, all the names. But how fitting, as we now sing the Lord is my shepherd, it brings a smile to my mind just thinking of her singing this song with that nickname. So let's stand if we're able and sing together the Lord's my shepherd I'll not want he makes me down to lie in past to scream he lives hash me the quiet water spy my soul he doth restore again and me to block the mag within the path of righteousness hash in for his own namesake. Yet though I walk in death's dark fail yet will I fear none ill for thou art with me and I and stuff me comfort still my table thou hast renew in grace and so my foes my head thou hast with a long night and my cup overflows goodness and mercy o my life, shall surely follow me and in God's house forevermore my dwelling place shall be.

Thanks. Please do take a seat. I'm going to invite Anna to come and tell us about the Birmingham years.

Thank you very much for asking me to speak today.

It is a great privilege to speak about Ruthie and I feel very honoured.

We first met Ruth at our godson Paul's wedding when, as Richard has mentioned, it was the scene of a notorious prank when Ruthie hid away in Viv and Paul's going away car. What I remember was my very calm, quiet godson jumping out of his car and shouting, sheep, get out.

And that was the introduction to a small, wonderful dynamo called Ruth Sulwood, or sheep, to her friends. She came to Birmingham the following year. That was 1997, and the following year she came to Birmingham after house jobs in London to do her three year rotation in hospitals. And this extended to five years. In those five years, we were living in and out of Sudan and Ruth was travelling everywhere.

But somehow we always found each other in Birmingham and we became very close friends despite the obvious large age gap we had and feel we always shared similar passions. To follow Jesus with all our hearts. A deep commitment to the Middle east, to seeing medicine as a servant and not a master. And other things like loving prosecco and good food, loving languages and poetry, loving music and art, and especially to having fun.

In those years, those Birmingham years. Ruth's energy, intellectual and physical was prodigious, phenomenal, amazing. She worked in Birmingham's children's Hospital and then she trained to be a GP. And in spite of this very demanding work, you will see on your sheets that she also obtained in those years her DCH in child health, her DRCog, OBS and Gyne, her MRCP in physicians, MRCog. Those doctors here will know exactly what that all is.

And this was all before she began training to be a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist.

When she was at medical school, Ruthie was at the heart of the student work of CMF, the christian medical fellowship. And then when she came to Birmingham, she continued that work as the CMF staff worker for students. And she was always a pioneer. She drew together and gathered christian student groups in Hungary, Bosnia, Poland and Serbia. Always aware and sensitive to political dangers and issues, Alex and Ruth met through these student conferences and Ruth naturally began to learn serbian in her GP work.

She always aimed to work part time and give the other time to her christian commitments. So because of that she was able to be a key initiator in the ICMDA new work for the Metna region. And those initials mean that she had a medical and dental remit in the area of the middle East, Turkey and North Africa. So in the next few years we still managed to meet while she was travelling widely to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Oman, Egypt and possibly many others that I didn't keep up with.

We personally, Robin and I know several doctors in that area who count Ruth as their personal friend and their very valued christian colleagues. And she was also part of the prime team in those areas which gave expert medical training and support to national doctors. And of course, she couldn't resist starting to learn Arabic as well. In all this work, she inspired other people and she laid foundations of work that has gone on.

The theme running through all of this was often Ruth's piano and sometimes her violin. She loved and she felt music and with painting it gave her a place of peace and reflection.

In 2004, she and Alex were married in Birmingham. It was an international event and it reflected their love for all nations and all people. And many people involved in that day, some who can't be here today because of this, were later serving as christians in far parts of the world.

I feel the Birmingham years were a time of huge changes and new beginnings for Ruth, for amazing productivity and influential work.

And I also feel it was a time when Ruth was embracing more of her deep emotional life, where previously the cerebral had maybe been more prominent. Now I would like to add now some tributes that I have been very generously given by email from friends and colleagues at that time. So if you will permit me, I will read them. I've been given that permission and I'll just pause between each one so you'll know that I moved on. So I haven't attributed them.

She was a very special person who made an amazing contribution to the lives of many from a colleague. She was sometimes a challenge to work with, uncompromising, with a certain recklessness. But I always preferred the way Ruth did things to the way others didn't do things.

Ruth was a very determined woman and walked wholeheartedly into anything. She committed to and always was strong in her faith.

Ruth had a brilliant mind and an incredible capacity for hard work. She was always a loyal and committed friend.

And I would add to that she had an immense gift for making friends and keeping friends across years and countries and cultures.

I teased Ruthie that she followed us to Sheffield. They came here in 2006 and we had moved to the peaks in 2002, our last day in Birmingham, waiting for the removal van. We were dreading the final cleaning up of the house. Our children were far away. Nobody was there, it seemed.

And then the doorbell rang and there stood Ruth with her bright red Henry Hoover. I've come to clean the house, she said. I don't know if I laughed or cried or both. Ruth never stopped surprising me and overawing me. I have to say she was full of passion and love, loyalty and fun, fizzing intellectual curiosity and wide global interests.

She was impatient with unnecessary ignorance and cruelty. She was very stubborn and very soft.

And she knew and trusted God through all her trials and sufferings.

It has been such a privilege for me to share 26 years of this rollercoaster ride of life lived in all its fullness with precious Ruthie.

Thank you so much, Anna. We've heard Ruth was somebody who loved all sorts of aspects of life, who taught herself the cello and who loved the arts. And so we're going to hear two of her favourite poems being read now for us.

Herbstag autumn day. Lord, it is time. Summer has been very large lay your shadow on the sundials and let your winds loose on the open fields. Command the last fruits to be full. Give them two more sali days, urge them towards the completion and shed the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Who has no house now, will not build one anymore.

Who is alone now will be so for a long time, will stay awake, read, write long letters and will wander restlessly through the avenues, back and forth as the leaves are drifting.

The gate of the year and I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied, go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God that shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way. So I went forth and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

When I sat with Pat and Alan a couple of weeks ago now, wasn't it? We talked about. We talked about some of the rituals that happened prior to her and Alex's wedding, one of which is the agreeing of the bride price, of course. How do you ever do that? How can you ever put a price on somebody?

And yet it was an opportunity for both her humour and I think some of Alan's as well as the price was negotiated down to an affordable level. Our next song is one of Ruth's favourites, and it has in it bought with the precious blood of Christ. The amazing truth that we've been reflecting around is that God loves Ruth so much that he was willing to pay his own life for her, give his son's blood for her. And so we are going to sing this song and let's stand if we're able and sing in Christ alone in Christ alone my hope is found here's my light, my strength my song this cornerstone this solid ground through the fiercest shouting storm what heights of love what depths of peace when fears are still when striving sees my comforter my all in all here in the love of Christ thou stand in Christ alone who took unflash fullness of God in helpless pave this gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones he came to save till on that cross as Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied for every sin on him was laid in the death of Christ I live there in the ground his body lay light of the world by darkness lay then bursting forth in glorious day off from the grave he rose again and as he stands in victory since curses lost it gripple me for I am his and he is mine bought with the precious blood of Christ no guilt in life, no fear in death this is the power of Christ in me from lifeless cry till final wrath Jesus commends my destiny no power of hell no scheme of man can ever pluck me from him hands till he returns or calls me home here in the power of Christ I'll stand no power of hell no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hands till he returns all calls me home here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

It's also an absolute honour for me today to talk about Ruth's life, and I'm very conscious that of the 16 years she spent in Sheffield, it includes a huge amount of life and experiences of which I only know a small part. Ruth and Alex moved to Sheffield in 2006, where Ruth got a job as a GP in Manitop. The flexibility of this job enabled her to do lots of travelling, including medical missionary work to the Middle east, something that she was always so passionate about. As has been said already, ever since I've known Ruth, she loved middle eastern architecture and design, along with the strong sense of community, where neighbours drop into each other's homes all the time that is found in that part of the world. This love of community was one of the things that drew Ruth to join the group of young adults that my husband and I were leading at St Thomas Church when I first met Ruth.

Our aim was to provide a home from home to international people and share food, cultural experiences and prayer requests. And this was right up Ruth street. And she and Alex also opened their home in Netheredge one evening and we all enjoyed the most amazing spread of serbian and lebanese food. We laughed so hard that night. I've not laughed that hard since.

And it's one of my fondest, earliest memories of Ruth. It wasn't long before Ruth decided she wanted to move away from the relational limitations of being a GP into something that would allow more in depth relationships with her patients and her clients. And she started psychiatry training around 2009. And her discovery of Carl Jung's theoretically rooted approach to psychoanalysis was a real turning point for her. I don't know how many of you know this, that Ruth actually kayaked across a lake in Zurich to the shore of Carl Jung's villa.

Some children were having a garden party at the time and she asked if she could please see a plaque of one of Jung's quotes, which was written in Latin but means invoked or not invoked. God is here. The children were initially shocked at this intruder who had gate crashed their party but then found it funny. So they allowed her in and she took some pictures of the plaque. This was Ruth, always determined and unconventional.

Ruth started higher level training in both psychiatry and psychotherapy in Nottingham in 2012, and Ruth and Alex moved to the Spinney indoor in 2013, which made the commute to Nottingham a little easier. Also in 2013, Ruth began jungian training with the independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. Although she didn't quite manage to qualify as a Youngian Alanist, she did have a huge impact on the lives of her clients. One of them told me, the best thing anyone has ever done for me is putting me in contact with Ruth. Another of them, my eldest son Jordan, in fact, says Ruth's great insight was the catalyst for change in my own life.

Sorry I didn't explain that right then and I would not be where I am today without her. The highlight of Ruth's life was the much longed for birth of Hugo in 2014. Ruth was exceptionally proud of Hugo, and her intelligence and passion for both music and tennis are just some of the attributes and skills that Hugo has inherited from his mum. Ruth got her cancer diagnosis in summer 2018. She was never keen to talk about her prognosis and was determined to beat the odds, which is exactly what she did.

Some of you may have seen the family photos of her fly in the dark five year survivor t shirt taken in the Lake District this summer. Ruth's ability to endure what seemed like countless rounds of chemo, long Covid and multiple chest infections never ceased to astound me. In 2022, following Ruth and Alec's separation, Ruth found a lovely house in Bannerdale Road, complete with the desired granite kitchen worktops. After a few months of living with Mark and Esther in December 2020, Ruth and Hugo moved in. Earlier that year, Ruth had decided to learn the cello.

She spent many long hours developing her new skill, and it was not uncommon to message her dad in the early hours of the morning, updating him on her progress. The standard she was able to reach in such a short time was remarkable. Around this time, Ruth also found a spiritual home at Sheffield Vineyard. I remember her telling me how real and supportive she found that church community to be. So thank you, Karen and Alex for that.

Ruth was an amazing and insightful listener, always encouraging, supportive and empathetic. She was full of practical and helpful suggestions. She was incredibly knowledgeable and well read, which has been said so many times. I was only able to give her a run for her money when discussing theological matters, and we spent many an hour putting the world, and sometimes the church, to rights. Ruth was always up for an adventure.

I'll never forget the day I got a message from her saying she was driving Neil across Europe to Poland so that he could take an exam. As you do. What? I had so many questions. That was my response at the time.

But her willingness to do things like this was one of her most endearing qualities. Ruth said to me in September this year that she really did not want the main testimony of her life to be someone who had fought cancer for more than five years. She felt she still had so much more to offer. Keeping it real was really important to Ruth. So I owe it.

I owe it to her to be real about how much more she wanted to carry on living and being a mum to Hugo. But the testimony of her life is so much more than someone who fought cancer so bravely. The impact she had on my and so many other people's lives is immeasurable and her friendship is irreplaceable. She will always be in my and all our hearts until we meet again.

So we're just going to take the opportunity to pray as we draw a bit nearer to the end of our service. So you may like to remain seated or just gently close your eyes or just pop yourself in a space where you feel that you can engage with the Lord's presence. But we're going to pray. And I'm just going to start by thanking and praising the Lord for. For Ruth, because, as we've heard, she was an absolutely amazing woman.

So I appreciate there may be some of you here that pray and some of you that perhaps don't often pray, but let's just focus on her life and the thanks that we have for her. And I'm going to thank Jesus for that.

Father, come. Come and let your presence be amongst us, as we just call on you and we recognise before you, Ruth, and we say, thank you, Jesus. Thank you for her. What a privilege it has been to do life with her. And we thank you.

And we remember, Lord, when she was small, when she grew up with her family, and when she was a daughter and a sister and a friend, and she was at school. And we thank you for that and the way you created her to be musical and talented and creative and have a brain that just loved to learn and capture things.

We thank you for as. And the amazing thing she did as she moved into adult life, for her work as a doctor, how she just. Her focus was always on the other. We thank you for the lives that were touched through Ruth's role in medicine here and abroad.

And we thank you, Lord, for Hugo, thank you for her life as a mother.

Thank you for that. And thank you for the family, friends and the other children that came in and out of the home and the cousins. And just thank you because she loved to have fun. We thank you for that fun and that fellowship and that joy and that just infectious heart that she had for those that she did life with.

And we thank you, Lord, for the part she played in the church community. She loved you so much, Jesus, and she spoke about you and she modelled you, she did the things that we see you do in the Bible. She listened, she loved, she served, and throughout her life she's just inputted into a number of church communities, lots of families of believers, and we just thank you and we praise you for that and her work in the christian medical fellowship. And Lord, you have really used her strategically in your kingdom. And we thank you and we praise you.

So thank you, Jesus, for the life of Ruth. Yes, Lord, thank you for her. Amen.

Either Jesus Christ died and rose again or he didn't. But if he did, then followers of Jesus have everything to live for.

And Christians believe that we don't die, we just change our address. And we have good reason to believe that God's home has a lot of good going for it. There is perpetual peace, the rent is 0%, there's no Covid, there's no illness at all.

And for those of us who prayed for Ruth to get well, we have our answer. And it is yes, Ruth is alive and well. It's just she's alive and well somewhere else. She's fine. It's us, the friends and family of Ruth, who might need some prayer now and I'd like to pray for us.

Lord Jesus, please be with us today as you are with Ruth and we give you our grief and feelings of loss.

And Alan and Pat, I want to pray specifically for you. This is not a day that any parents would want. And Lord, will you please uniquely bless Alan and Pat as parents, comfort them and affirm in them your love as a perfect heavenly Father?

And this is what I think the Lord would wish for you to hear. And that's this. It's from the Bible. It says the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and Judy and via extension your family in the US.

Though you are far from your family in the UK, I think that the Lord would wish for you to know that he is close to you. And this is what I think the Lord would wish for you to hear. It's psalm 34, and it says, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted.

And to Hugo.

I think the Lord has blessings for your future. And as I was praying earlier on, this is what I felt that the Lord was saying for you.

He said, for I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.

And my prayer for you would be that the Lord would be with you like a wonderful mother, and he would help you to make wise decisions.

And for all of us who care for Ruth and miss her, I'd pray, Lord, please be close to us this day and every day.

Help us to remember the joy that life in you brings and carry us when we are too weak to carry ourselves.

Bless us as you are blessing Ruth. Amen.

In a few moments time, we're going to commend wreath to the Lord, for we've heard lots of amazing memories of her life. So let's reflect on them as we listen to this piece of music. The Lord bless you and keep you. By John Rutter the shine upon you to show you earlier on today, we stood in a beautiful, rather frosty part of the Peak district, and there, in that incredible place, Ruth was laid to rest.

I think it might even have given Derwent water a run for its money and its beauty. But we are now going to commend our sister Ruth to the Lord. So if I can encourage you, please do stand if you are able.

Let us commend Ruth to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer. God, our creator and redeemer. By your power, Christ conquered death and entered into glory, confident of his victory and claiming his promises. We entrust Ruth to your mercy in the name of Jesus our Lord, who died and is alive and reigns with you now and forever. Amen.

Support us, O Lord, all day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please do take a seat.

In just a few moments, I'll draw this formal part of our service to a close in a prayer of blessing. But before I do so, please can I invite you down to the church hall? After the service, just head out of the church and turn right, and you'll find it in the building there for refreshments. I will leave this room open. So if you want to listen to the exit music for longer, or if you wish to use this as a space to come to.

If the hall feels a little busy, then please do feel free to do so. Before I pray, let's take one more opportunity to remember Reith. Thank God for her, but also to remember each other and how we can support one another at this time. It may God, in his infinite love and mercy, bring the whole church, living and departed in the Lord Jesus, to a joyful resurrection and the fulfilment of his eternal kingdom. And may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you now and remain with you always.


Don't get me on the gammy.

I want don't become any time I know. Any time. Any time I don't know.

Shall I know what you know?

Don't only swim. I don't see more than one shame, but just I'm Sam to to see. I see. It was the.

Was he answering? What's got me? Wakami papa tell me. Mommy.


Ojama Jami.

That baby go by when I let you up one night.

Joy Bula Jehovah Rebecca Mama.

Rebecca Mama.

For my sina mama.

Jehovah mama.

Then I move to the God. Lamu shanah mama.

Jehovah it power your name.

I lily fuck it up. Nadi saku sam opujama right? I tap down if I say I took one. If I tap down if I say hope I took, you pull out. You get it?

I give up. All I don't feel I for my life. You like pull out. I can't get your lie. I can't be.

I can't. I can't. It's your life.

Lilipama City ra I don't go on. If I say I hope what? Yamali swing console. I swing on. E go by to now sang it.

Molly said, oh, I go fast begging console. I mean mojo bachana.