Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Passing of Rev. Joseph Myers

Yesterday afternoon a Pastor in our circuit, Rev. Joseph Myers, passed away in his sleep unexpectedly. What follows is the e-mail (slightly amended with additional info) to the pastors in the Circuit.

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By now most of you have heard that Joseph passed away yesterday afternoon in his sleep over in Eastern Oklahoma. Again, not much is known at the moment. Mary has asked Tim [Dorsch - Pastor at Zion, Fairmont] to preside at the funeral, and it sounds as if Ladasau-Evans will handle the specific arraignments. As such, please do keep Mary, the people of Immanuel [Lutheran Church, Garber OK], and also Tim in your prayers as plans comes into shape.

While unexpected and shocking, we know that these sorts of things are what happen in a sinful, fallen world. This is part of the Law that we proclaim to our people every week. This is what Joseph himself faithfully and diligently taught his people as well. We know these sorts of tragedies have happened, do happen, and will continue to happen as long as this world lasts.

But we are not just preachers of the Law - we proclaim the Gospel, the death of Christ Jesus to take away our sin which earned our death, and His resurrection, which is the proof that we who have been claimed by Christ as His own, joined to Him in Holy Baptism, and nourished by Him through His own Body and Blood in His Supper shall have not only forgiveness but a resurrection of our own come the last day as well.

Joseph preached this - and with great joy even now he sings this victory of Christ over death with all the saints who have gone before. His time of having his voice be used to preach is at an end; now that voice is gladly part of the company of all heaven.

While I myself wish this day had been much delayed, it is for Joseph's blessing, it is for his care and benefit. We are right to mourn, but we mourn for the loss that Mary has suffered, the loss that Immanuel has suffered, the loss the we ourselves have suffered. But we know that on account of Christ Jesus' great love for Joseph and for us that the time of our mourning will come to an end, that we will indeed see and hold and rejoice with our brother Joseph and all the saints on the day of the resurrection of all flesh and even on to forever more.

The meantime, the time between then and now is rough. But this is why we proclaim Christ and Him crucified, why we are determined to know nothing but Christ, to have our eyes fixed upon Jesus, for He is both the author of our faith and the one who brings it to completion - and the completion of our faith is the resurrection of the dead. This is why we confess "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come." All thanks be to God who has redeemed not only his servant Joseph, but us, His most unworthy servants as well.

Christ Jesus be with you this week,


We praise You Lord for Joseph
A shepherd, faithful, true,
Who with both love and zeal
proclaimed new life in You.
May we who still here labor
Likewise proclaim Your cross
Until the resurrection
removes all pain and loss

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