Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Significant Deaths

It is quite easy when a person of significance dies to panic or overstate how critical and dire things now are. Think of what Israel must have experienced and thought when Moses died. How about when Luther died? In my own Church, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, there was the death of our then-president Al Barry. And now Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. The wages of sin is death and death is going to take all people. The question is: how do we react and respond?

I like what a co-worker of mine said, way back when I worked with computers and before I ever had an inkling of becoming a pastor: The cemetery is filled with people the world couldn't live without!

It seems to me that panic is a rather faithless response. Yes, the death of Scalia is significant, but we were facing difficult moral dilemmas even with him on the bench. And what history has shown us is that God raises up new leaders to take the mantel of the ones who are taken from us. Joshua for Moses, Elisha for Elijah, and Chemnitz, Gerhard, and others after Luther. And we are often the stronger for it. For going through times of uncertainty can strengthen our faith, our resolve, and our prayers. It is not that we do nothing, but that we do what we are given to do, ask what we can do, and trust that God is still on His throne. With Christ and His Spirit, we do, after all, have a peace which passes understanding.

So no matter what happens to the Supreme Court - or the election later this year as well - we will continue to preach and teach the truth in our church, as parents to our children, and speak to friends and neighbors of the confidence that we have. For the one person the world truly couldn't live without? He's not in a cemetery, but risen, alive, and ruling all things for the good of His Church. Even when it might not seem like it. He is.

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