I was intrigued by this picture of the building across from the Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis. It reminded me of the famous words of St. Paul – “know we see as in a glass, darkly”. The other translations cannot quite do it for me like the old King James. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Cor 13:12. Paul of course is talking about not being able to see clearly all the stuff that happens and how God is using it to bring us an “eternal weight of glory”. I like to think we see the body of Christ like that too. It is as if in a mirror dimly, darkly and sometimes nastily. I have a vision of what the body of Christ is and should be because Christ is it’s head. Then I hear about how the body of Christ sometimes behaves when it gathers together, like at a convention and it is dark and deformed. Some of the things that I have been told have been said at the microphones would make a pagan blush, and then we turn around and talk about “doing the Lord’s work”. Anyway the mirror was cleaned at least for me and I caught a glimpse of what the body of Christ can be and should be this last week.
Every funeral is unique and every grieving family special in their own way. But because of the connections that Mark Kreklau had with various boards and ministry entities in Synod and the District, and because of Kaye’s unique connection with Lutheran Women’s Missionary League this funeral offered opportunities to see the effects of the partnerships that exist within the body of Christ. Those connections and partnerships are the reason we started this blog in the first place. It is not my responsibility to thank anyone for the family. So I want to offer up the following thanks on my own behalf.
To Rev. Matthew Harrison the president of the LCMS for his kindness and concern up to and after Mark’s funeral. Rev. Harrison once again exhibited his pastoral heart and understanding of what the average parish pastor goes through whenever one of his parishioners passes away. His note to Kaye and the family was very comforting and timely and read by our district president Baneck. Pastor Baneck contacted me from a long trip from Nairobi while he was in London and said that he planned on attending the funeral in Grand Forks. With little sleep and a long journey ahead of him he took the time to bring greetings from the district and once again to support me in a unique pastoral situation.
Pastor Fenske at Immanuel in Grand Forks has always been a tremendous help and marvelous colleague in the ministry. I appreciate his pastoral care and willingness to help out in any and all situations. His time with the family when I could not be there was not only appreciated by the family but personally comforting to me. The associate pastor at Emmanuel Rev. Jonathan Buesher was also very helpful in preparation for the funeral, during the service itself and afterwords.
The president of the Minnesota North District Rev. Don Fondow was extremely helpful in his words of support and his understanding of the unique importance of an auxiliary like the LWML in the life of our church. Pastor Fondow’s views, advice and experience are invaluable and I urge all the pastors of the Minnesota North District to take advantage of those attributes as often as you can.
The congregations of Immanuel and Trinity in Drayton were wonderful. Trinity hosted a fellowship lunch after the prayer service and both churches worked together on the dinner at Immanuel. Later after the internment in Alsen, Zion in Munich also served a lunch and it was greatly appreciated.
All of the Pastors that attended were supportive and kind. Sheila Weinlaeder was the pianist and organist and she played a lot over the two days of a celebration of a life, and I thank her too.
The mirror was cleaned for a while. I am sure someone will fog it up with their bad breath, or try to obscure the image soon, but for now I am enjoying the view of what the body of Christ can be when we all focus on the head.