We had the funeral service for Amber on Monday October 7.  She was 36.  I baptized and confirmed her and officiated at her wedding.  I said all I had to say at her funeral but there are fascinating details that I can’t get out of my mind because they keep popping up.  Coincidence abound. Amber was preceded in death ten years to the day by her grandfather Harris Johnson and just four days prior by her grandfather James Mattson.   Her favorite poem or story, or whatever you want to call it was “Footprints in the Sand”.  She had it posted in different places.  When her mother was ordering check blanks Amber had put the foot prints poem on the checks.  The funeral director had a page in his catalogue with an urn based on footprints in the sand that just happened to be open on his desk when the family visited.  People say well, that is fine and interesting but just coincidence.

I agree but………

I have a subscription to a program from Concordia Publishing House called “Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish” which prints out the worship services, lessons, hymns etc so that churches that want to can publish the service in bulletins rather use the hymnbook.  They can also build a different service with special music.  It has graphics that can used in bulletins and announcemeents etc.  I use it for a couple of reasons.  Number 1 it has a list of hymns that helps me in trying to pick all the hymns rather than doing so from memory.  Number 2, it has opening statements for each Sunday laying out the themes for that given Sunday.  Ambers funeral was Monday the 7th.  CPH’s “Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish” has as it’s opening comments for Sunday October 13th the following.

“The old story of footprints in the sand reminds us that God’s path is not always visible to us as we look ahead, but it is more often clear as we look behind us. The story of Ruth illustrates this in a profound way. The future is not known to us, but God has promised to be with us, to guide us on the path, toward the future He has prepared for us in Jesus Christ. When we fear for that future, we have the witness of the saints—Old Testament and New—whose trust in the Lord was vindicated and in whom the mercy of the Lord was more than enough to lead them to everlasting life.”