The Passing Parson

A monthly blog by Rev. Dr George J. Koch, Holy Trinity’s Intentional Interim Pastor during our time of transition.  Pastor Koch will provide spiritual leadership for Holy Trinity until the new regularly called Pastor takes office.  In his weekly blog, Pastor Koch will discuss his thoughts on the Church Year and upcoming events at Holy Trinity.

My Grieving, Part 2: Life is a Gift

Posted by Rev. Koch on Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 2:07 PM


But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4.1)


Life is a Gift.


Shortly before I arrived here, I was asked to preach for the funeral of an eight-year-old girl. One moment she had been alive and chasing a soccer ball in a match, and the next minute she was comatose on the ground.  A couple of days later she was dead from a rare form of brain cancer. The family, rightly so, was devastated. They asked me to preach as I knew them well. At the funeral, 50+ classmates were packed into the congregation and about 400 people packed the building. I gave two sermons that day: one just for the seven to ten year olds who were struggling with the death of their friend, the other for adult family and neighbors.


At the funeral, I shared the story about John Claypool, a noted pastor, whose daughter had died at a similar age. At first Claypool’s only consolation was that God had a lot to account for. But later, Claypool began to see all life as a gift; something that he did not notice before. He began to realize that he had had so many gifts of friendship and love from others that he didn’t deserve. He began to see his daughter’s sweetness was like her mom’s and dogged spirit was much his own. She was a joy and a delight to know. And even though   he had only known his daughter for 8 years, she was a gift that would always be with him, even after her death.  


Life is a gift. We are given loved ones to know and love on our pilgrimage on earth.  I was privileged to know Judy for almost 50 years and to be married to her for almost 42 of them. Many relationships never make it that far; many people have never felt the closeness I felt.


So, I continue to mourn. I have lost my best friend, my companion, my love. But I see her as a gift, someone I didn’t deserve, but someone who received me in love. I do not grieve as one who has no hope.  Rather, I celebrated the gift she was to me, and trust the Author and Giver of life, that she – and I – will not be abandoned in death.


George Koch

Senior Intentional Interim Pastor.   

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