The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:7-8 NIV 84)
A few years ago my parents made a trip to Germany. Since they were staying with some former members of their congregation who were living on a US military base, they were able to go wherever they wanted. One day they visited the small town of Börtlingen, where my great-great-grandfather, Jacob Frey, lived before coming to America in 1883. After visiting with a distant relative, they wanted to visit some of the gravestones of some of our ancestors. However, they were told that this was not possible. In this area of Germany, at least in Börtlingen, your gravesite is only good for 25 years. After that they dig up your body and gravestone to make room for someone else.
Think about that for a second—after 25 years the memory of you is essentially erased! Obviously, our customs here in America are different—our gravesites last indefinitely. But I can’t help but wonder—how many people are really going to remember me 25 years after I die? What about 50 years? Or 100? It’s pretty rare that someone is remembered 100 years after their death.
Life expectancy today in America is 78 years. So if you include the 25 years after death, that means that the average impact that a person has on others is about 100 years. That’s not very long in the grand scheme of things. If you think about how many people have lived on this earth, it’s clear that our lives are small and insignificant. And yet, so many of us are so obsessed about our own lives. We like to think that God is here to serve us, that this world revolves around us, that who we are and what we do actually matters.
Grass withers, flowers fall, people die—but God’s Word stands forever! People come and go but God’s Word continues to stand throughout the centuries. And it is the Word that gives eternal life! Through the Word we hear about Christ and the salvation he won for us by his perfect life, suffering and death, and resurrection. Through the gospel the Holy Spirit creates and sustains faith, which receives the blessings that Christ won for us. The Word gives life, so even though we die, we who believe will live! And not just live for 70 or 80 years, but live forever—an eternal life in heaven, free from sin and the effects of sin. The word of the Lord endures forever and it is the Word that gives life to us mortal sinners. So we no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ who loves us and gave himself up for us.
There is one more thing to note: it may seem as if our lives are small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It is a little sad and depressing to think about how few people will really care about you 25 years after you died. But you’re not small or insignificant to the Lord! In fact, he chose you before the creation of the world to be his own. He called you to be his own and adopted you into his family through the waters of baptism. He knows the very number of hairs on your head! The Lord cares enough about you to give up his one and only Son to die in your place, to bring you to faith, and to keep you in that one true faith, so that you would live with him forever!
Yes, it won’t take long for people to forget about us after we die. But we won’t care, we’ll be in heaven with our Savior for eternity.
— Pastor Frey
Summer Worship Schedule
Please note that this summer, our worship services will be at 8:00 and 10:00 am. Our Monday service time will remain at 6:30 pm.
Summer Sunday Bible Study
New this Summer we are offering a family type Bible Study on all non-Communion Sundays beginning Sunday June 9th. The study is entitled, “The ABC’s of Worship — Lutheran Customs and Practices.” It is our prayer that through this study God will lead us to grow in our appreciation of the Gospel as it is reflected in the way we worship. This class is intended for members of all ages so everyone can join us. If you ordered one of the Booklets, they are available for pickup.
Bible Information Class
Jesus says to each of us “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Here again is an opportunity to invite a friend, neighbor or co-worker or family member to hear the Good News of forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ. This class is for everyone but especially for those who are not members but would like to know what we teach. Go and invite! Come yourself!
We plan to have our next Bible Information Class (BIC—or Adult Instruction Class) begin mid-June. If you or someone you know are interested, please speak to Pastor Gartner.
VBS Helpers Wanted
Our Vacation Bible School is scheduled for July 29-August 2nd. Right now we are looking for volunteers to help share God’s Word with his children. Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex if you are willing and able. In future weeks we will have a snack-donation list as well as online registration. Keep your eyes open for more information and make sure to invite a friend!