A truly sad time, but also a truly wonderful time. I'll try to get Bert's obituary posted in the side menu soon.
Bert's family was great to work with for the congregational funeral. It was hard to preach.
At this point in my service in this parish I have been here for a longer time than most of the pastors who have served this parish. (I still have to look at the calender each morning to see which service I have to go to first.)
At Yvonne's funeral I was able to get the family together with their mom and dad for a family photo. They wanted to do this again today.
Bert had 12 children. Yvonne passed away last Dec. There were nine that were able to be here with their children and grand-children.
Bert's son-in-law, Steve C., wrote a very nice hymn for the occasion and sang it with Kevin W. as the family entered.
Because of the time of year preaching on the purpose of Christ's death and especially his cry of "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" was directly fitting.
After all, so many of us, as sinners, feel abandoned by God when we grieve. But we are not. The only one who was truly abandoned by our Heavenly Father was Jesus Christ himself on the Cross. And that abandonment was for our sakes, so we would never have to be abandoned by God. True comfort comes in knowing that this life is not the end for those who have faith in Christ. True comfort comes in dwelling in His Word and Sacraments, knowing that He is securing us not for some kind of social prosperity in this world, but for a true, real, and bodily resurrection at the last day. Because Christ was abandoned, we will never need to face any abandonment by God. Bert is home with Christ.
We will see him again, whole, restored--along with Willie and the rest of those who have gone before in the faith.
What we hope for now is that his children, grand-children, and great-grand-children will remain in this faith nourished by the same Word and Sacraments of Christ that brought Bert safely to our Savior's throne.
Please keep their family in your prayers.