Word of the Month

Lord over the Dead and the Living

March 2001

When in his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul stated that Christ had died "that he might be Lord both of the dead and living" (cf Romans 14:9), then the envoy of Jesus also outlines the fullness of the power that the Son of God had won with his victory over death and hell. After his sacrifice on the cross, his resurrection and his glorious Ascension, Jesus Christ became the Lord of all Lords and the King of all Kings.

But he also gave guidelines that apply in his work: to faithfully accept the word from the altar and observe it, to love God above all things and your neighbour as yourself, to accept his ambassadors, to strive to be found worthy to receive the offered grace, to forgive and be reconciled, to remain in the first love - to name the most important. Those that are willing to conduct themselves in accordance with his commandments and repent their sins will have their debts forgiven by him. Whosoever comes unto him with a hunger for God's word receives food for the soul and water of life. Moreover, he offers new garments, the garments of salvation in the sacraments.

The Son of God also invites guests unto himself, in order to serve them. As Lord of the Dead, he also directs this invitation to those souls that have laid aside their earthly garment and find themselves in the yonder realms, where often there is no hope, no faith and no love to be found. For these souls there exists the same opportunity to grasp word and grace, to receive forgiveness of sins, to be provided with food and drink and to be furnished with garments of salvation. But the same basic prerequisite also applies to them: they must open themselves and come to the Altar of the Lord; only there can the Lord bless them. The children of God have received the responsibility to invite them with heartfelt intercessions and to prepare the way for them by spreading light, warmth and love. This is the responsibility that the Lord has placed upon his own.

And the Lord accomplishes another great thing! Whosoever accepts his offer, faithfully grasps word and grace, forgives and is reconciled and follows his commandments, the same must not remain a guest or a stranger any longer. Through the dispensation of the baptism of water and of spirit, the Lord elevates them to become fellow citizens of the household of God (cf. Ephesians 2:19). They are thereby added to the flock of the reborn and may together with them wait for the moment when Christ, the Lord over the Dead and the Living, comes again and takes his own unto himself.

With heartfelt greetings,<br/> Yours,

Richard Fehr