The following are a quick remembrance of Pastor David Hess, the Pastor at West Henrietta Baptist, the place across the street from St. Mark’s:
There are some ways in which you can’t get further apart than a Baptist and a Lutheran. The occasional joshing that David and I would get into highlighted those difference. I might mention a baptism coming up and David would scold me for child abuse of that poor baby who didn’t even know what was going on. I could return the favor to a smiling face about how heartless he was to let all those children go without the comfort of knowing God had claimed them in baptism. And we could do that chiding because our differences were swallowed up in something bigger.
David Hess could talk about difficult things, could live with the tensions, without collapsing his faith or threatening yours. It was an inviting and attractive faith
And we were blessed to see the living core of that faith in the past month – that something bigger that swallowed up the hard stuff. David was unafraid to talk about Jesus, and all the more about the resurrection. When the natural reaction would be to cry about the wrong-ness, David reminded us that life is the gift of its source, Jesus. And when the desired reaction is fear, because there is still one of our great enemies – death – that has not been fully put under Jesus’ feet…when we would fear, David would remind us to stop. I believe in the resurrection.
Even death has been swallowed up in something bigger. The life and the resurrection of Jesus. And connected as we are by our baptisms – believers or otherwise – we are heirs along with David of that fulfillment. Thank you David for your witness.