If the media had covered this death, the headline would have read something like this: “Local Mouse Perishes in Parish.” This mouse met his end in one of those sticky tray traps set out to minimize mice and their mischief.
As I tell my out-of-state grandchildren when they visit during the summer and they see deer, raccoons, porcupines, and assorted fowl lying on the side of the road: “It looked like it was sleeping; just taking a nap.”
Seriously, it was a weekend full of “death” at Trinity. On Friday, a funeral service was held to commemorate the death of a beloved sister in Christ and to praise God for bringing her through death to life eternal.
During regular worship (Sunday and Monday), nearly 200 people “crucified their sinful nature” through confession and repentance. Paul speaks of this: “We know that our old self was crucified with him, to make our sinful body powerless, so that we would not continue to serve sin. For the person who has died has been declared free from sin. And since we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:6-8) Baptisms were remembered and Holy Communion was received, further pummeling Satan and the sinful nature with the Good News of the risen Lord Jesus.
Also on Monday, Trinity hosted a Pastor/Teacher Conference for 25 pastors and teachers. Here, too, Baptisms were remembered, Law and Gospel were proclaimed, and the Lord’s Supper was received. The sinful nature in all who were present received a thrashing that only the Holy Spirit can give.
This coming weekend, it’ll happen all over again – except for the mouse part, hopefully. This coming weekend, Law & Gospel will be faithfully proclaimed, God’s people will gather to repent and confess and praise the God of our salvation. Baptisms will be remembered. In a private ceremony, two people will receive this most precious, powerful Sacrament.
Hearts will be lifted from defeat and despair. Eyes will be lifted heavenward. Faith will be strengthened for the battles ahead. Christ will be present with his people, forever bringing life out of death. “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand