Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Tuesday, Seventh Week of Easter
Blessed are all Your saints, our God and King, who have traveled over the tempestuous sea of our mortality, and have at last come into the port of quiet and felicity. Cast a gracious eye upon us who are still on our dangerous voyage; strengthen us when we are exposed to the rough storms of trouble and temptations. Defend us from our own negligence and cowardice and from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts. We are exceeding frail and indisposed to every courageous and virtuous undertaking. Grant, O Lord, that in Your good time our vessel will brought safely into our desired harbor. Amen
Strange how events line up. Yesterday evening I got a call from my parents. They had just heard the news. My dad’s brother, Marvin, passed away suddenly that day. He was 76. It was not corona virus related.
I had just been reflecting on all the people who have lost their lives serving our country, and those who survived, like my Grandpa, Marlin Ruhter. He had served in WWII in the Navy. A picture of his ship, LST-953, is above. I remember him telling me the story of how the sailors weathered a huge storm at sea with massive waves that were over 70 feet tall. My Grandfather passed away in 2016 at the age of 93. God had given him a long and wonderful long life. How many others went to wars and never came home?
And now this. On Memorial Day of all days, my uncle Marvin went home to be with the Lord. He was a carpenter by trade and a photographer and videographer by heart. He loved the Lord. He had served as an elder and taught the Bible at my home church, Immanuel Lutheran, in Twin Falls, Idaho for many years. He loved God’s Word and was very active in his church right up to his departure. During this COVID-19 crisis, he was responsible for running the online streaming of the church’s worship services during this stay-at-home time. They will miss him and his talents, as will all of us, his family.
My prayer this day is for all who have lost loved ones. Whether it is through natural causes or from something else. Our life journey is often portrayed using the metaphor of a ship sailing across the ocean until it reaches the safety of its desired harbor. Only God is able to bring us safely home. He does so through the saving work of his Son. Thanks be to God for his wondrous and glorious works! May he bring us all into that safe harbor one day with all his saints.
If you like a little Bluegrass music, here is a good ol’ hymn that relates with the topic for today, Jesus Savior Pilot Me by Middle Cross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk0NXH45_ug Enjoy!
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are in this together. We have help available if there are needs. Please let us know.