All the Company of Heaven

Cameron

That’s Cameron on the lower right.

Our son’s grade school and high school friend, Cameron, was killed in a car accident a couple of days ago. Of course, great sadness ensues. Thoughts encircle us on the grief of his parents, and of all those who shared Cameron’s zest for life. But this is also a time to confess, to confess what it is that Christ has done for us. On the cross Christ took away Cameron’s sin, and he, a Baptized child of God, is now in Christ’s eternal presence.

As Lutherans, every Sunday in the Divine Service we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. In the Proper Preface for All Saints’ Day the pastor proclaims:

It is truly good, right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting, who in the multitude of your saints did surround us with so great a cloud of witnesses that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us and, together with them, may receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you and saying…

The congregants respond in the Sanctus:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of power and might: Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The Eucharistic Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer follow, and then the Words of Institution are spoken. The bread, which is Christ’s very body, is held high for all the people to see. The cup, which is the very blood of Christ poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins, is elevated. It is here that heaven and earth are indeed full of the Lord’s glory, for where Christ is, there is heaven. The “not yet” becomes the “now.” Heaven and earth are united in glorious communion. All of us, along with angels, archangels, Cameron, and all the company of heaven, sing God’s praises in unison. So while we grieve the loss of our friend Cameron, we rejoice that together we sing the same song every Sunday, and look forward with certainty to the day when we will be reunited with him and all Christians that have gone before us. “’O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ESV).

About Scott Diekmann

Scott is a lifelong LCMS layman. Some of his vocations include husband, dad, jet driver, runner, and collector of more books than he can read. Oh, and also chocolate lover. He’s been involved in apologetics for over a decade, is on the Board of Regents at Concordia Portland, and is a column writer for the sometimes operational Around the Word Journal. He’s also written for Higher Things Magazine, The Lutheran Clarion, and has been a guest on Issues Etc. as well as the KFUO program Concord Matters.

Comments

All the Company of Heaven — 4 Comments

  1. My condolences and prayers to Cameron’s family and friends. I lost my brother-in-law last fall and though i know the loss of a child pains us even more – here is something i put on facebook on the day of his funeral. i think it would work for Cameron and all brothers and sisters who have left us here to be with jesus.

    Heavenly Father, The days ahead will test our faith in your word and promise. Please stand close to us as we say goodbye to our brother in Christ. Help us to remember the work of your son on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and our salvation. Without Jesus we have nothing, but with him we have everything. Thank you for giving Corey everything he needs, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

  2. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you and saying…

    Says it all . . .

  3. JB #2,
    Spot on. The first thing, I ever learned, in Church, w/our Liturgy, was Holy, Holy, Holy.
    The old, not the new. It has always been, our liturgy, our hymns, & our Solas, that if all I can do, is just stand, that….is where I go.
    The Trinity, is our Solas & Foundations. They do not sin, They do not fall or fail, and They cannot lie.

    In times, trials, tests, and tribulations, which we all were warned would come & why, as those would flee would, in some of these, all we have, to stand, is This.

    It is only when, the lives of those, go on, continue, and the loss or trial is no longer in their minds, that those, who Trust, in & through Him, endure enought to just stand. For in this & many a more, it is all the world is worth, to just, be able to stand.

  4. I know this thread is over a year old. On the off chance someone is still listening….Would you please remind me of the scriptural basis for reference to “all the company of Heaven” in the proper preface? Jacob’s ladder in Genesis and Revelations 1, for sure. Anything else you guys can think of to help? Some Methodist friends think it’s cool and I’ve already been working with them on telling them about the Real Presence. Thank you very much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.