Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life revisited

Strange title - Life Revisited. I guess it is because I have one thing on my mind this morning. (There is more than one but for this writing, there is one.) That one thing is the death of a long time member of St. Paul's.

Last Friday Roger Tegmeyer died. I am told that he was on his way to the dining room when he had to sit down for a moment and then he passed away. I haven't heard if it was his heart or a stroke or what it was that took him. It really doesn't matter (except for the sake of curiosity) because the end result was the same. He left this life for the next. Roger was a saved man. I can say that because he openly and willingly professed his faith in Jesus as his Savior. He did not rely upon his deeds, which were many. Instead he relied upon Jesus alone for his salvation. Even with the issues he was dealing with, he still knew his Savior even when he didn't know me. He still hungered for the Lord's Supper even when he didn't know what was for supper. He still lived on the Word even while his mind was leaving him on a daily basis. We can rejoice that another saint of God has entered into eternal life with his Savior.

The family decided to have a private service for Roger. Many have been put off by that for they wanted, perhaps even needed, to have time to say their thank you and good bye to Roger. We know that the visitation and the funeral is for the living, for the dead have already entered into their eternal rest or their eternal damnation (depending on faith or lack of faith in Jesus). Roger had helped many people. He had showed his faith through his kind acts of support for many of the people in our community. And people wanted to show their respect for Roger and have the chance to honor his memory. Without a public visitation or service, that became impossible. I understand the frustration that comes from that situation. At the same time, we must honor and respect the wishes of the family. In your heart you can honor Roger. In your talk about him over the next days and through the discussion that will happen whenever someone mentions Roger in conversation, you can thank God for him. You may not understand the "why" things were done like there were, but you can still remember and honor the memory of Roger and all he did for you and for his community.

Why did he do so much? It was because of his faith in Jesus. He knew that God was the One who blessed him and gave him the resources of his life. He knew that God had given him the talents and skills he had and used those same talents and abilities to the glory of God. Roger knew one thing - he was a child of God. So he lived in that faith. He didn't trust in himself or his deeds for salvation but he trusted in Jesus alone. He loved people of the community because God had first loved him. His life was not meant to lift up "Roger" but it was meant to lift up Christ Jesus.

So when you think of Roger, think of his faith. When you talk of what Roger did, talk about what Jesus did for Roger. And give thanks to God that you had the opportunity to know Roger. And then live each day in the way that Roger did - trusting not in yourself or in someone/thing else in this world. Live each day trusting in and living for Christ Jesus. Share your faith in word and action. Then you will be honoring, not Roger, but the Savior who saved him.

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