Blessing of the "WE"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On Sunday, I left immediately after worship and caught a plane to Iowa. I was headed out to the funeral of Ted Maakestad in Radcliffe, Iowa. Ted was the father of my brother- in- law and one of my best friends, Mike Maakestad.

As a pastor, when I attend a service as a participant, I have a few theological truths I listen for. One of the things to look for in determining if something is solid theologically versus heresy, is how many “I” statements are in it, God does God’s best work in the “WE.” From the time God gave Eve to Adam as a partner, to the chosen people of Israel, to the 12 disciples, God is most clearly evident in community. If you really want to see Jesus get involved in the Body of Christ, stop searching for how you can find Jesus, and ask how we might participate together in what Jesus is doing.

The pastor began the sermon by saying he was losing a friend and someone who was vital to the community of faith. He read from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and paused for a bit on Matthew 5:8,”….blessed are those who mourn…” Each person who mourned in Radcliffe on Monday, had been blessed by God through Ted. He served the missional community known as the church in a multitude of ways -as leader, confidante, learner, worshipper of the risen Jesus, and full participant in the church.

The community turned out to attend the funeral, and make the drive three fourths of a mile in procession out to the Radcliffe cemetery. There is no doubt that the rural communities truly understand the need to come together to mourn. To mourn, according to Dr. Daniel Olsen, is “…to move in two directions at the same time. To grieve the person who is physically gone, and to celebrate that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we each share in eternal life with our Heavenly Father.” Mourning is indeed a blessing, when done as a part of the “WE.”

I give thanks to God for the community of faith known as the church. For Ted Maakestad, it was the clearest way to participate in the Kingdom of God and for us, we are blessed to engage in the faith as it has been handed on to us by such saints as Ted, that we might see Jesus in the Body of Christ , which is God’s gift to us. Ted’s legacy in Christ Jesus is clearly a “blessing of the we.” May the funeral sermon for each of us bear testimony to such a legacy.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jon Maakestad wrote:
Three brothers came over from Norway, John went to Michigan and started 20 churches. He was my great grandfather. My mother who is 90 told me last month that he would go to one church and speak Norwegian, go to another church and preach in German and go to a different church and speak in English. One time in the thick of winter he wrapped himself in newspapers, threw a horse hide around his shoulders and skated down Lake Michigan to yet another parish. They broke the frozen horse hide off his back when he arrived.

Another brother ended up in Illinois and this is where Ted came from. I know nothing about the Iowa Maakestads. However I have heard that his sermon on the prodigal son is well-known and I would like to find it.

The third brother went to Alaska and we knew John Maakestad and I went to Luther College with Walt Maakestad, a 6'2" blonde norski with a booming baratone voice.

How can I find this sermon?

Fri, April 20, 2018 @ 3:58 PM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.