One of the most poignant moments at Whitney Houston's funeral, on February 18, 2012, was when Bishop T.D. Jakes (Sr. Pastor of the Potter's House church) delivered a speech/sermon that could have been titled "Love Wins." The moment was one of the most inspiring for me, as it brought in the reality that Whitney Houston trusted in Jesus, she knew the Master. Yes, she battled demons, yes, she had failures, but she loved God. She is in His arms now, and no doubt, she is making the most beautiful, heavenly music for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Here is the full transcript and video from T.D. Jakes sermon at Whitney Houston's funeral.
BISHOP T.D. JAKES, SR. PASTOR, POTTER'S HOUSE: Can the church say amen?
JAKES: Can we say amen again?
JAKES: I want to convey and take just a moment. I realize the dichotomy that the family faces at this time, surrounded by a world full of friends and admirers who are enthralled by the beautiful Whitney Houston. Her voice, her song, her poise, her class, but that is not what brings you here, because you knew who she was. Not just what she did. You paid a tremendous price in life. You shared her with the world. And we want to take a moment and say thank you.
JAKES: In moments like this, it feels -- it feels like death is wrong. But the bible says that love is stronger than death. Your hearts are heavy, tears flow down. Your spirits are wounded. I feel that too. I didn't have the privilege of knowing Whitney as long as many of you have done. I met her on the set of the remake of "Sparkle." but I understand what it is to be in pain. You look around and everybody you love and everybody you can count on and everybody you can trust seems to be slipping through your fingers. And it feels as though death is wrong. The first family, when Cain killed able, it seemed like death had won. Noah escaped the flood. Still he died. It looked like death had won.
Isaiah was an eagle-eye prophet, he could see thousands of miles and years away. Still he died. It looked like death had won. Habaka had come as a prophet to Israel, spoke truth so powerful and so profound, but no matter how close he was to God, still he died. It looked like death had won. We've seen scientists and astronauts and politicians and great thinkers of the ages and no matter how profound and prolific or bright they were, still they died. It looked like death had won. But the bible kept saying that love is stronger than death. And like two gladiators in a fight. Every time they enter into the ring it looks like death has won. I know to some of you today it looks like death has won. But I rose to tell you that 2,000 years ago.
JAKES: Love rolled into the ring and said wait a minute, death. You've been bullying people for a long time. But I want to set the record straight. Love is greater than death. Rolled up his sleeves and they fought all over Jerusalem and wrestled all through the cross and the fight went down to the grave and death said, see, I did to you just like I did all the rest of them. Death started having a party on Friday night. It was one of those weekend parties. Lasted all the way through Friday night and all Saturday, looked like death had won. But early Sunday morning, love rolled up his sleeves and said wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Snatched great death and took the sting out of death and the victory out the grave. And I want you to understand I'm not going to preach, I'm not going to start, but I feel it. I want you to understand in a very practical and pragmatic way that death has not won.
Your tears may flow. Your pain may come. The flowers will wither. The cards will all be filed away. The phone will stop ringing. Mama said, they're going to stop ringing after a while. Cakes and pies all stop coming. Don't you dare think that death has won. You will learn what all of us know who have lost people that we love. You'll be driving down the street one day and you'll hear Whitney's voice talking in your head. Something she said or something she did will pop up in your spirit and you'll giggle inside of yourself as if she were sitting in the car with you. And you will find that people that you really love, they may leave you outwardly, but they never leave you inwardly. May the love of God, the peace of the Holy Spirit, the sweet communion of knowing that you are a child of the king keep you through this period in life when it might appear as if death has won, but it's alive.
Love will last forever, for God is love.