And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea," saith the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." Revelation 14:13 (KJV)
Over the years I've known an awful lot of young people who wanted to become park rangers.
The idea of being outside and communing with God's creation had a great appeal for them. Still, I wonder how many of those young people would change their minds if they heard of a job that recently fell to the National Park Rangers in Petersburg, Va.
The park rangers were in that town to search a home during a criminal investigation. During the course of their visit they came upon a very nice Civil War artillery shell.
With the amount of explosives the North and South lobbed at each other during the Civil War finding an unexploded shell in Virginia is not a rare occurrence. The question that always remains is this: "Can the shell explode almost 150 years after it was fired?"
The answer to that question is "yes." Three years ago a relic hunter was killed when a shell exploded in the driveway of his home.
Imagine that ... long after the war is over ... after all the combatants are dead and buried ... what they left behind can still be deadly.
I think many of the things we do both good and bad are the same way. Think for a moment. Can you not recall a sainted teacher or grandparent who passed on some bit of wisdom? How about a classmate who said a cruel thing to you? Both of those actions from long ago live on.
We remember, don't we? We remember both the good and the bad things that have been said and done to us. Like it says in Revelation, "... their works do follow them."
Now I can't say if people a few thousand years from today will remember what we do or say, but it's certain we will make an impact on the next generation, and they will touch the generation that comes after them. This is why, in thanks to the Savior who has redeemed us, we ought to try and pass on that which will build them up and edify.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, since my works, both good and bad, will follow after me and touch lives when I am gone, grant me the grace to say and do that builds up others and glorifies the Savior. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries