How serendipitous, sublime and Grace drenched are our lives. How infinitely precise and delicate is the thread and craftsmanship of our Lord as He weaves our salvation in time & space to effecuate both what He deigned before all eternity, and what He purchased and won at Calvary.
My Father was a bastard child (as they called illigitimate children way back in the dark ages of the 1930s) and was put up for adoption by his un-wed mother. My Dad never really knew his mother. He was never officially adopted by anyone, but WAS taken into the home of a German-American woman and raised with her own son. It was a "foster-home" situation that lasted for my Dad until he graduated from High School and joined the Navy in January of 1944.
His foster mother was not a church goer but must have had some nominal connection with the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, for she required my Dad to go every Sunday. He was baptized, confirmed, and married at an LC-MS parish in Minneapolis. It was the same parish wherein he met my mother who also was a regular attender, although her parents DID NOT attend either.
They were two of the finest Christian parents a man could hope to have had, and the Word of Christ Crucified worked on them, in them, and for them, even despite the fact they did not have supportive active parents. The Lord will not abandon his elect.
My Dad went to Church every Sunday of his life. I have countless fond memories of going to church with him and my Mother. I would not be a pastor today (in my opinion) without this strong Lutheran up-bringing and his faithful role-modeling of a strong, decent, modest, and Christian husband and father.
One of the things my Dad loved to do in his spare time...in the cold Minnesota winter months (11 months out of the year :) ) when he could not work out in the yard, the garden, and the garage workshop, was to listen to music. My Dad loved music. One of his favorite singers was Mario Lanza. He must have had close to a dozen Lanza stereo lp's which he would play regularly on his prized GI-NORMUS stereo counsole (the big coffin-size pieces of furniture). Almost every Sunday afternoon after the family would return home from Church, he would plop a selection of vinyl discs down on the turn-table and lay down in front of the speakers for aural relaxation. I would hear (and come to appreciate for the rest of my life) Mario Lanza, Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Frank Sinatra, the Harmonicats, Strauss, Beethoven, Nat King Cole, show-tunes, Jim Reeves, and a host of others too many to mention.
And although my Dad's Lutheranism was staunch, he, like me, had Roman Catholic friends and co-workers. One point that they could all agree on (I guess it's a start :) ) is that Mario Lanza's rendition of Franz Schubert's AVE MARIA was one of the best ever recorded up to that time. I would now say in the year 2013, that it is still one of the finest versions.
But far, far more importantly for my Dad (and Mom), "HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED, HALLELUJAH!
Thank you Lord, Christ Jesus!