A week is spent building shade houses, cooking traditional food, working with neighbors, singing, sharing, crying, hugging.
But for a CHRISTIAN it’s something even more - it’s hanging onto Scripture, praying and comforting one another. The people call on their pastor and their Christian church member friends for the REAL help in times of heart break. That counts more than even the Apache funeral and wake traditions - “Please visit us and share Scriptures Pastor, please. And, would you come back often?"
A young man. A son, brother, godfather , stalwart entrepreneur in the Apache community, an encourager, rolls off the road and lands in heaven.
For the family and the community: it’s devastating. Even months later no-one can believe it. But let’s look deeper into what we see when the family are CHRISTIANS?
THIS IS WHEN IT COUNTS.
Being a Lutheran was good. It brought comfort and social and friends during life. BUT DEATH - this is when it counts!
Without faith in Jesus Christ, the triune God - BEKEGOINDON (SP), the TRUE God of the Bible, Father, Son and Holy Ghost…. THERE WOULD BE NO HOPE.
You see the community come together. Grieve together. Work together.
But WHAT COUNTS is the Lutheran Christians sharing the only HOPE there is - that he is in Heaven, and we will see him again there one day.
NOT on his way to heaven, NOT on a journey to heaven, NOT yet wishing, working or praying to get to heaven. NO. His time of grace on earth has ended - not on our timeline, but on God’s. His work was done. Heaven, which was his before as a believer, is now realized immediately. JESUS CHRIST did it all. JESUS took his sins away. JESUS died and rose again so that he too can rise and live again.
THAT IS WHAT COUNTS.
THIS IS WHEN IT COUNTS.
The wake is over. Scriptures were read and sung - to encourage us yet living.
The funeral is over. Scriptures were read and sung - to give hope to us yet living.
The burial is over - where young and old shoveled dirt into the ground over what is a shell - for his soul is already in heaven and was the minute he died.
AND - THIS IS WHEN IT COUNTS - at the end of the day, Pastor is giving Scripture to the family. Pastors are coming over to visit. The Lutheran church members are still encouraging with Scriptures.
Faith in Unsen won’t help - that’s a creation myth.
THIS IS WHEN FAITH IN Bik’ehgo’ihi’ṉań COUNTS.
Turn to Scriptures now. Talk to a pastor and come to worship. NOW is WHEN IT COUNTS.