The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen. --Revelation 22:21
The verse above is the last verse of the Bible. Scripture ends with these words. Recently, I was drawn to thoughts about saints and this is why…
I was in bed, in some pain, only a few days after hernia repair surgery at St. Clair. The supine position lends itself to meandering thought. I was reading from my phone the tweets of a visiting theologian at the University of Chicago, who posted news that her dog had died. A Lutheran pastor in Ohio posted condolences. A few clicks later, I was on his church’s website, listening to a sermon he delivered last month; and in the sermon he stated that while attending seminary in Columbus his favorite faculty member had been Professor Bruce Schein. He described Professor Schein as his mentor and shared kind remembrances of being his student.
When I heard the reference to Professor Schein in this sermon, I was excited enough to want to raise myself from my supine position. I couldn’t due to pain, but I kept on listening and began feeling a sense of gratitude.
As some of you know, Professor Bruce Schein was born and raised in Mount Lebanon and was a member of our church. He graduated from Mount Lebanon High School and attended Yale for both his undergraduate and Ph.D degrees. For many years he lived in Jerusalem and conducted study tours of the land of our Lord. His book, Following the Way, is considered one of the best historical geographies of St. John’s gospel ever written. Bruce died in 1985 after a battle with cancer at age 43. His funeral was held in our sanctuary. Hearing his name mentioned in a sermon 36 years after he died revealed to me the tremendous, positive impact of his life. That day, I gave thanks to God for his life and for the lives of all the saints of our church.
As we continue in this unusual, pandemic period, let us remember Bruce Schein and all the saints who lived among us here. In gratitude for them and for God, let us carry on by faith, whatever our health conditions may be, doing all we can to further the love of Christ, the message of his gospel, which is meant for all the world. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
Following the Way with you,
Pastor Doug Heagy