02 June 2014

The moment I met him

I knew I was in the presence of a gentleman. If that word is worn out and out of fashion, no one ever told him! His presence made me smile and his wit brought ready laughter. I only met him one time. But he's been kind enough to send me his sermons since, and blessed is that congregation (well, those congregations) that get to hear this gentleman proclaim the Gospel.

The usual packet arrived today and I opened it. There was a note with it. Unusual, that. Cancer and inoperable. No treatments. Just preparing to die and this: "I am at peace with this, since my salvation is secure because of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ which, by Holy Baptism, I was literally plugged into. Please know that I really am at peace."

Not a doubt in mind that he is.  He doesn't want publicity and so no names. No prayer lists or inclusion in bulletins. A man who has prayed his Nunc Dimittis and is content to slip quietly away. He now waits for the final breath to be drawn in this age, knowing that what awaits is the bracing air of Resurrection in the Age that is coming. 

God bless you, my friend. And into paradise may the angels lead you:

Lord, let at last thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home
That I may die unfearing.
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these, mine eyes, with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my fount of grace:
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, 
My prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end!


Unknown said...

Flesh and blood did not reveal this to this gentleman, but our Father in heaven. It has troubled me for many years to see Christians, when facing death, either their own, or somebody else’s, act as if dying is the thing most to be avoided. I am reminded of our Lord’s words, which He spoke knowing that on the following day He would die an awful death, John 14:28, “If you loved me you would rejoice because I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.”
For this reason I also believe that our Lord did not weep because Lazarus had died, but because He was going to bring him back “from the Father.” Going to the Father brings rejoicing; leaving the Father causes weeping.
Sometimes I wish that faith were certainty, and that I will be as certain about the joys of the Kingdom when I die as this gentleman. But the good thing about having faith is that it also comes with trust. And both come from Him Who loves us to the end.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Anonymous said...

Your citation of TLH 429v3/LSB 708v3 brings to mind the words of TLH 142v6/LSB 438v4

And when Thy glory I shall see
And taste Thy kingdom's pleasure,
Thy blood my royal robe shall be,
My joy beyond all measure.
When I appear before Thy throne,
Thy righteousness shall be my crown,-
With these I need not hide me.
And there, in garments richly wrought
As Thine own bride, I shall be brought
To stand in joy beside Thee.

In Christian Worship (CW 219) our WELS brethren have these words set to the tune 'Wedding Glory' which I believe was written specifically for these words.

May these words along with the words the words in your blog help prepare your unnamed friend as well as all of us prepare for that day that we "Stand in Joy Beside Thee"!