Monday, November 3, 2008

World's Shortest Funeral Homily

Don't ask the circumstances that required such a thing. It was a terrible situation. Steps are being taken to make certain it does not happen again.

Homily - Funeral of Roger Luedtke
October 29, 2008 - Text: Philippians 1:18b-26

Dear Friends in Christ,
The timing of events is often ironic. Though our time here is brief, Roger will also be honored, as we do each year for those who have been called home, as we celebrate the Feast of All Saints this coming Sunday.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” This is perhaps a strange verse for funeral. St. Paul in this text is saying that he must remain upon the earth to minister to God’s people. Roger was not a pastor, like St. Paul, but he was a stalwart confessional Lutheran layman - a lion for the faith. His service to Christ’s Church will not be forgotten.

Yet, Christ determined that the time has come for that work to end. He called Roger home to heaven. Did Christ do this because Roger was great? No. Roger, was so passionate because he understood that he was sinner. He understood that salvation is a gift from God. Christ died for our sins to make us His children and bring us into communion with him. Roger lives. He lives because Christ paid for his sins.

There are two great errors of our age, concerning death. First is that a person is dead and gone. No. Those who sleep in Christ live. Secondly, that the deceased are present with us because we feel their presence. There is nothing in Scripture to support such a thing. God does not come to us through our feelings. Nor do those who rest in Christ. But that does not mean that we separated from them. Every person who kneels at the communion rail, kneels with Roger, and with Roger receives God’s good gifts. For all those redeemed by Christ share in that great feast.

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