The part of living in Fort Wayne that I miss the most is there are very few "extra" Lutheran services and concerts here. A few weeks ago Concordia Nebraska choir had a concert in our area. It was actually in-between our sicknesses so our whole family was able to attend. The concert opened with singing A Mighty Fortress. It has been several years since I sang a stanza of A Mighty Fortress with that many Lutherans.
The part of living in MN that I miss the most is the flowers in church on Easter. Our churches in MN had several bouquets and lilies every year for Easter Sunday. They tried to make them last as long as they could and put them out several Sundays after Easter. I always tried to take a few family photos with all the flowers at church. Our church here has one bouquet of real flowers on the altar. On the organ and in the entryway there were a few other bouquets that were silk flowers. I took comfort in that one of those bouquets was made out of flowers from my Grandma's funeral bouquet. There just isn't room up by the altar for more flowers. I know real flowers aren't necessary at church on Easter, but it sure is beautiful.
I never imagined that a few weeks after the choir concert I would be sitting in the same church at a funeral for one of our dear church members. The opening hymn for the funeral was A Mighty Fortress. Not everyone was Lutheran nor were some of us able to sing loudly through our tears, but there were more people at that funeral than there were at the concert a few weeks before.
Even though the family requested memorials be donated to our Lutheran camp here, there were several flower donations. Most of those flowers are going to be at our church on Easter Sunday. I helped put the flowers out and they smell wonderful.
So I got to sing A Mighty Fortress again and our church is full of flowers for Easter, but I never would have wanted it to be for this reason. We rejoice that we get to sing Jesus Lives! The Victory's Won! And while I know that this man will no longer help with serving communion, we know that he will be at the communion rail with us tomorrow with the whole company of heaven. I better take tissues to church tomorrow so I'm prepared for all the happy tears.