“We have seen the Lord,” we’ve been singing in worship lately. And we did, yesterday, when we visited Bob, who was dying. We saw Christ on the cross, suffering with Bob and us, loving Bob and us, whispering a promise that today we are with him in paradise. Carolyn reminded us.
Last week (as I write this), we were together at Sandy Birt’s funeral. Not all of us, but wherever there is one of us, all of us are there. All of St. Paul. The whole body of Christ. All creation and the host of heaven.
During the service, Sandy’s son, Travis, and daughter, Jenn, remembered their mom. Then came my turn to speak. So I walked down the steps from the communion table, past Sandy Birt’s white-covered casket, and toward her family to read the Gospel of Matthew.
And it came back in a flash: I had done this before. I walked down these same steps toward this same beloved family after Hannah died.
And I remembered what my pastor told me just the month before, after Jeanne Etheridge died. She said, “The longer you stay, the more you will love them, and the harder it will be when they die.”
In worship a few weeks ago, we heard from the Gospel of John. “Where are you saying?” the two asked Jesus. “Come and see,” he said. And the gospel says, “they came and saw where he was staying, and he stayed with him the rest of that day.”
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
715 South Third Street
Clinton, IA 52732
(at the foot of the south bridge)