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27 October 2010

IN MEMORIAM: Karin Wendt (10/27/23-10/24/10)

As he discovered the true and radical nature of God's grace, Martin Luther's answer to the question about the Meaning of Life was this: it is living in the joy of being God's own. There are many portions of Scripture that make this clear: the one we know best is John 3:16-17: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish, but hasr eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world!"

Which brings me to my mother, Karin Wendt, who loved that passage, and who went home to the Lord this past Sunday. When on her last morning on this planet she woke up, she looked at my father and told him she had picked hymns and lessons for her funeral service; John 3:16 will be the sermon text at her funeral on Tuesday.

Even though she had a hard life, having to witness her mother and sister being killed by Russian soldiers, she embodied Luther's answer to the question about the Meaning of Life: The joy of beings God's own. That was enough for her, once and for all. She was one strong lady.  A picture of her as a young mother is here. Even though her appearance was often described as delicate, one of my friends said she was “delicate steel”.

She studied the organ since she was a teenager, and hymns connected the two of us for all our life together. She lived in her hymnal. My mother read her hymnal like other people read their favorite novels; there were favorite pages that were marked with rubber bands, and sometimes with clothes pins, and that hymnal looked worn out, or perhaps more accurately, lived-in.  I'm quite sure, she plays on in God's Heavenly World.

John 3:16-17

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