A Christian will?

I was reading an article the other day about two great servants of the Church.  He taught
in Synodical schools for nearly 40 years, and she was a librarian in a Lutheran Day School for nearly as long.

As they near the end of their earthly lives, they are properly making the necessary arrangements to ensure that their earthly assets are distributed accordingly.  Despite
making their arrangements official some years ago, they were featured in this particular article for redoing the preamble to their will in order to make a witness of their Christian faith in their will.

This is a popular new fad in the Church today.  How better to make an eternal witness of your faith then to put it in a legal document that will be read and reviewed by your children and lawyers?

Except is that really the best way to make a witness of your faith?  When people reflect back on your earthly life, will they remember that in your will you quoted some
Bible verses?

Personally, I cannot imagine a group of people sitting around a table reading a will, and the lawyer reads that the deceased’s confirmation verse was John 3:16 and then the children sitting around the table immediately running to the nearest church, confessing their sins, and receiving absolution.

Allow me to cut to the chase: if you are a Christian and live a Christian life; if your faith is evident in the way you live your life; if everyone remembers where you went on Sunday morning; and how you passed out tracts instead of candy on Halloween, then they will not need a will to tell them that you were a Christian.

A will is a legal document used for the distribution of a person’s assets after they die.  The
time for making a Christian witness is when you are alive.  Want to impress upon your children the importance of the Christian faith?  Tell them, in person, with words spoken out of your own mouth.  Unlike money and that antique china set, you cannot will your faith to your children.  Want all of your neighbors to remember that you were a Christian during your earthly life?  Actually live a Christian life.

If you need a will to remind people that you were a Christian during your earthly life; how is God going to know about your Christian faith?

But why the big push these days for a Christian witness in your will?  Shockingly, the same
people who want you to have a Christian witness in your will, also want you to leave their organization some money in your will.  But here is the big secret: they will take your money with or without the Christian witness.

The will is a good and worthy thing to have, but let us leave the writing of the will to the realm of the state.  Your assets will be taken care of with or without the Christian witness; but the passing on of your faith is something you are going to have to deal with while you are still alive.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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