Life in Pastor’s House: Baptisms and Funerals
Dakotapastor is amongst the first called when a baby is born. He baptizes those same babies mere weeks later. He spends hours each week, helping mold impressionable middle school students, preparing them for confirmation. He is privy to marriage engagements and spends hours with engaged couples, preparing them for the blessings of marriage. He celebrates with those same couples as they share a wedding day with their pastor. And, he spends countless hours with the sick and dying, often sitting bedside singing to God’s people moments before they leave this earth.
Yes, my dear husband is, in fact, a part of the family for all of the members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. And I am very happy to share him with these people. By the same token, I am honored when these same people share in the joys and sorrows of our family.
This morning, Dakotapastor had the honor of baptizing our newest member. Little Zechariah is a mere 9 days old. So precious, so tiny, so loved. And yet, a sinner. Today, he was covered, washed, renewed. He was given God’s name, and he was given the Holy Spirit. And then, after sharing some cake and coffee with the happy family, Dakotapastor is in his van, driving an hour away to lead a family service for a family that is mourning the loss of wife, mother and grandmother.
I would think that funerals would be the hardest part of Dakotapastor’s job. But, while they are not easy, they are a part he cherishes just as much as baptism. For it is during the funeral service that he once again can proclaim the promises of God, the very promises that are claimed for us in our baptism.
Our closing hymn today was one that I have always enjoyed. Our children learned at least the first three verses by heart when they were students in Lutheran School. I always think of it as a great Baptism hymn. However, it is also a perfect funeral hymn. And, when I sang it this morning in celebration of Zechariah, I could not help but think about my friend Myra, who I will say goodbye to tomorrow as I choked back sobs during the last two verses.
So I am reminded that our baptism and death are closely linked.
So, take a listen. (And Mandy, I like the guitar setting,get practicing!)