Dust to dust. In Genesis 2, God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In the next chapter, after the fall into sin, God cursed Adam to return to dust: “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19).
Death unites humankind. Regardless of age, political orientation, social status, financial status, race or creed, everyone has either died or soon will. Even God chose to die. For in Christ Jesus, God hung on the cross and died for the sin of the world — to conquer death.
Take another look at this magazine’s cover. Flip the page and look. You saw a cross made of sand that was poured out upon a casket — in this case, the casket of a dearly beloved co-worker in LCMS Communications. While pouring the sand, his pastor said, “We now commit the body of our brother Roger to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
At his funeral, Roger made his final confession. Through the hymns he selected and the pastor’s proclamation of Christ, Roger confessed his faith in Christ. Those in attendance knew that he did not hope in his own work, but in Christ and Christ alone.
This issue of The Lutheran Witness will help you think about your own funeral. You are never too young — and never too old — to start thinking about and preparing your funeral. It is coming. One way or another, you will die; spend a little time this month preparing your final confession.
Also, this month we started a new, occasional column, “For the Love of Words.” We love words; we hope you do too. In this column, we will help you think through how we use words to the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.
In resurrection hope,
Roy S. Askins
Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness