There’s a lot going on these days. The coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, with cases even rising in our area (please see the note sent last week, and please take necessary precautions for yourself and others, especially those in high-risk categories). An election wages on that dominates our news feeds (see the plugs in the CBC Weekly for two helpful resources). More immediately important than all of that, one of our dear brothers, and a spiritual giant among us, Lawrence Friesen, passed on to glory. At his funeral service, there will be much more room to speak to the wonderful character of this man, and the example of God’s grace he was for all of us. He leaves behind a legacy of steady faithfulness to the Lord. In this limited space, I just want to remind us all that we are in the capable and merciful hands of God, even in and through death. Death is a great enemy. But it is not an enemy in the same way for all. For those outside of Christ, and still stained by sin, death is an insurmountable enemy that leads to separation from the Father and Creator. For those who have put their faith in Christ for salvation from sin, and have been washed clean, as Lawrence did and was, death—while still an enemy—is a means of grace. It is a tool of mercy in the hands of God, who uses death to usher us into eternal, true, perfect life. Death is a means by which we are ridded of our own sinfulness, and the brokenness of the world. God uses death to restrain sin and evil, and to usher us into His perfection. Our God is merciful and gracious, and we can trust Him, in both life and death (and in a pandemic and an election).