Thursday, January 18, 2007

Auf Wiedersehen, Mike

It is time once again for us to say "auf wiedersehen," until we see you again, to one of the saints of Trinity Lutheran Church, Layton, Utah.

Mike Schafer, born 12 July, 1952, entered the Church Triumphant yesterday, 17 January, 2007. Having been tested and, by the grace of God in Word and Spirit, having certainly endured his "ten days of tribulation" by faith until death, our dear brother Mike has received the crown of life (Revelation 2:10) for which he was fitted at his Baptism.

I learned much from Mike. His ability to listen and examine the different sides of an issue, combined with his eagerness to hear and learn the Word of God, were gifts from God to him and the people who elected him to serve them at Trinity. Though we disagreed over practice and procedure at times, Mike’s willingness to publicly support me as his pastor in the faithful proclamation of the Word and administration of the Sacrament, while privately testing and holding me to the Word of God to account for my pastoral actions made me a better teacher and pastor.

There is no question that the Lord used dear Mike to help us through some difficult times here at Trinity, and us to help him in his time of need as well. The picture above is of Mike greeting me after my ordination. I thank our Lord that he was able to rejoice with me in that moment, as he was instrumental in getting us there.

For those of us who are still being tested and called to endure our own tribulation, including the loss of our beloved Mike, the Lord offers us this sure and certain Word of hope and comfort: "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, NKJ)

This we will do here at Trinity, 385 W. Golden Ave. in Layton, Utah, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 20 January, 2007. Please come if you are able, or offer your prayers with us and all the saints if you cannot. You can also extend condolences to the family at

Auf wiedersehen, Mike!


chaplain7904 said...

Thanks for the post. Good reminder. Good theology. DELTO had at least one success.

I. M. Abaldy II said...

Thanks Chaplain. God grant that I remain so. (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:16; Revelation 2:10)