"Beyond the Call"
April 14, 2014
... the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23b-26
"What can we do for you, Kristen?"
That was the question which was asked by Ed Kelly, a Boston firefighter and president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts.
His question was followed up by a statement made by Richie Paris, head of Local 718 of the Boston firefighters. Paris said, "Anything. You name it. Anything."
These incredible offers were made because Kristen's husband, Edwin Walsh, had just died in a fire.
Still in shock for having lost her helpmeet and father of their three children, Walsh expressed her appreciation and asked for time to consider. Later she found her answer: a request. Calling her husband's firehouse she said, "I would like someone to find my husband's wedding ring."
A thorough check at the firehouse turned up nothing. Further, all the firefighters knew Walsh never took his wedding ring off. That means the ring had come off during the fire, and the chances of finding a small, gold band in the mountains of refuse left by the blaze were overwhelming. Still, the firefighters had made a promise, and they wanted to make good on their offer.
While Walsh made funeral plans with the help of Kelly and Paris, the other firefighters went to the building where Edwin Walsh had died. They began by looking at the spot where his body had been recovered. Sifting through the debris was dirty, frustrating work. At times they despaired of finding the ring. But then, firefighter Patty Donovan shouted, "I've got it!"
An informal procession of official vehicles went to Watertown where Walsh's wake was being held at St. Patrick's Church. Soon Kristen Walsh was surrounded by her husband's friends and co-workers. They gave her the ring. As Kevin Cullen of the Daily Globe reported, "Kristen Walsh took the ring and slid it on her finger. It was big, real big, but it fit in all the ways that matter."
Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, in an act of unprecedented love, gave His life on the cross to save humanity from the fires of eternal damnation. Before He died, and knowing what was before Him, Jesus gave His loved ones something by which He could be remembered.
At the Last Supper He had with His disciples, Jesus told them, "Take eat. Take drink. Do this in remembrance of Me." Offering us His true body and blood, Jesus provided a means by which all those who followed and believed in Him might be assured their sins were forgiven, and He was still with them.
Those who have seen His sacrifice are glad to receive His blessed gift and are thankful for the opportunity to remember the Savior who gave His life so they might live.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in Communion we have been given a great gift. May we gladly remember and receive the forgiveness and faith which comes in Your body and blood. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries