Yesterday several of us attended the funeral of our dear sister in Christ and former St. Paul’s teacher Linda Martens. Her casket lay at the foot of this statue of Jesus in her home congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Grant Park, Illinois.
As we saw her lying at Jesus’ feet, seeing the power and reality of death, Mr. Fitzsimmons leaned over and whispered, “Imagine what it was like when Jesus raised people from the dead!” At that moment, it was hard to imagine seeing Linda, dead for a week, sit up alive in her casket.
But that is what Christian Education is all about! Seeing death has been defeated.
- In the pew behind me, a little girl was asking her mom about Linda. Her mom explained, “Linda’s soul is with Jesus right now. Her body is only asleep. Jesus will come back and raise up her body some day.” Christian education is all about death defeated. It starts in the home.
- Mr. Fitzsimmons shared with Miss Martens’ family our plan to include a special recognition for Miss Martens at the opening service of our school on Tuesday, August 20. He explained, “This message of heaven is the reason our school exists - to teach truth so that all of us will receive our eternal reward and hug first from our Savior and then from one another.” Christian education is all about death defeated. Thanks for your generous support of our Christian School.
- Our public school confirmation classes will be starting in late August. The goal is not just that our young people are confirmed, but that they have a life-long relationship with their Savior. Last evening a former public school confirmation student, now a first-time mother, expressed her desire for baptism for her baby boy. She and her husband have a life-giving, death-defeating relationship with Jesus, and they want that for their son too. I saw in my mind the image of the statue of Jesus at the church in Grants Park, watching over Miss Martens, but also over this little boy. Christian education is all about death defeated. Thanks for supporting all our ministries of Christian education.
- Finally, I read with great interest the attached article from the Forward in Christ about Pastor Nick Mount. Nick is a son of our congregation and attended our adult membership Bible study. His wife Diana was a frequent visitor here. Nick shares his “before and after” message. There was a time when he was spiritually dead. But even for adults, Christian education is all about death defeated. Rejoice in the attached article. And thank you for your support of adult Christian education here at St. Paul's and through our synod's schools.
The risen and ascended Savior has defeated death. We shall live forever. There is no more important message for us to learn for ourselves, to share with our children, and to share with the world around us. May the Lord use us personally and as a congregation to accomplish this saving work.
Your brother in Christ,
PS. If you were unable to join us in worship this weekend, join us this evening for our Wednesday 7 pm service. We are continuing our study of Romans - Grace Wins Every Time!