Thursday, May 25, 2006

Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.

Yesterday an Aggie buddy and former college roommate died in a jet ski accident.

Father Todd Reitmeyer, affectionately known to his buddies as Rottweiler '93, was a Roman Catholic priest serving in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, but visiting family on vacation.

My family just saw him last Thanksgiving for dinner in Austin at his beloved Wing-N-More and he looked great and had a great time interaction with our kids, particularly Sarah. He was a great resource for me, particularly when teaching church history. I could always get an unjaded perspective of RC theology so as to ensure I was not misrepresenting it.

This comes as shocking news as I had been in frequent dialogue with him lately, particularly doing research for a Mother's Day sermon I did on the Virgin Mary.

I got another email from him tonight just as I was walking out the door. But, it actually wasn't from him, but from a family member using his address. I paused when I read the words, "Dear friends of Father Todd." The next sentence told of his passing.

By God's providence, I will be in San Antonio this weekend and his funeral services will be in Buda, Texas, about an hour away. Lord willing, I will be there to support the friends and family of my fellow Aggie.

As I stop and ponder issues foreign to my typical day, I'm reminded of just how fragile human life is. I'm reminded that we should boast not of tomorrow, for we know that what a day may bring (Prov 27:1). I'm reminded that not only do I not know "what tomorrow may bring," but I am but my life is like a "mist" that "appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14). I am reminded that this is a day that the Lord has made, I want to rejoice and be glad in it (Ps 118:24), not squander it and/or take it for granted.

Just like whenever I perform a funeral, I am reminded not only of the fleeting nature of human life, but of the enormous importance what we do in this life regarding Christ makes in eternity.

This news has got my attention regarding the temporality of human life and our pressing need for forgiveness through Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ, who was God in the flesh, came down from heaven and lived a holy, perfect, and sinless life. But this innocent God/Man was murdered, crucified by wicked sinners according to God's plan so that Christ's sacrifice would be the means of forgiveness for those who believe, trusting in the person & work of Him who died, was buried, but rose from the dead.

He came into the world, taking on human flesh and bearing sin, to save sinners, who might have His righteousness through faith/trust in Him and His sacrifical death on the cross.

Each of us will die and face judgment. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. If you are a Christian, by God's grace, prasie God and pray for those you love who are not. What if there is no tomorrow?

There are TWO WAYS to live; it's the choice we all face. If you do not have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, please believe/trust in the risen Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved from the penalty of your sins, that you might experience JUSTIFICATION. There is salvation in Christ alone, for He alone is the way to the Father and life everlasting.

May God be gracious to us that we are all able to see our need for the gift of forgiveness, Jesus Christ, in whom we must believe. Feel free to contact me if you would like to dialogue further on the blessing of having a loving relationship with the Heavenly Father through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But, don't wait until tomorrow. What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today, not for my friend, Rottweiler '93 (aka Father Todd).

3 Comments:

At 26 May, 2006 08:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pastor Hartman,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, Fr. Todd. Although I have never met him, I have been a reader of his blog for a few years. From the testimony of so many offering condolences on his blog, he was a much loved man and priest of God. My prayers go out to all his friends and family who mourn his loss, and of course for the repose of his soul.

David B.

 
At 31 May, 2006 22:03, Blogger Billie Hartman said...

Pastor Eric,

That is a very thought provoking title, and your message really makes one stop and think. As a nursing home administrator, I see many people die who are usually elderly. However, the impact is much greater when one so young passes and so suddenly. His passing will be felt by many.

Billie H.

 
At 31 May, 2006 22:24, Blogger Billie Hartman said...

Pastor Eric,

That is a very thought provoking title, and your message really makes one stop and think. Accepting Jesus Christ as one's personal savior should not be postponed. There is no tomorrow for many.

As a nursing home administrator, I see many people pass away; however, they are usually elderly. The loss of your dear friend shows how precious life is. The loss is even greater when one so young passes and so suddenly. Father Todd's passing will impact the lives of many.

Billie H.

 

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