From Death to Life

Not Sauder Hall, but it gives an idea of arrangement of orchestra and choirs.

Not Sauder Hall, but it gives an idea of arrangement of orchestra and choirs.

Two Sundays ago My Joy and I went to Sauder Hall to listen to Verdi’s Requiem rendered by Fort Wayne’s Philharmonic Orchestra and complimented by Goshen College’s combined choruses.

When a close friend of Verdi died, he was so saddened that he could not attend the funeral. Instead he composed a requiem to be played on the first anniversary of his friend’s passing.

Verdi was an agnostic. Yet when composing the Requiem he contemplated the unknown future,  including the terrors of eternal death. The music he produced was horrendous and beautiful.  The last piece focused on the thought, “remember me.”  For any one who wishes to hear a bit or all of the masterpiece do a Google search for “Verdi’s Requiem” and select a you-tube production of your choice.

The Requiem helped me through lent.  So did the memorial services I attended, or in which I was emotionally present.

Irene Reigsecker was a member of our Sunday School class in Sarasota and a member of our weekly game circle in Geencroft Goshen. She was 90 years old when she put on her coat to go to the bus to take her for morning shopping. When she did not arrive with her usual promptness, the driver alerted caregivers who found her.

Nelson Harvey Lehman, son of my uncle and a first cousin

Nelson Harvey Lehman, son of my Uncle Andrew Lehman who married Lois, daughter of Anna, my mother’s sister. Thus, Nelson and his siblings are first cousins on the Lehman side of my family and second cousins on the Martin side of my family


Nelson Lehman, a cousin, died on March 15, at age 76 in Pennsylvania. He had been pastor and minister of the gospel. I wish I could have joined my cousins at the memorial service on March 21,  for I did not know Nelson well. I wish I could have heard the memories of his life.

On March 28, Eldon and Rachel were in Palmyra, New York, for the memorial service of Mervin Stoltzfus, the youngest of Eldon’s five siblings. Merve’s immediate family  gathered along with many friends from his church and friends that he had made though his activities as a successful salesman.  Go to “Out of Ordinary Order” for more details of Merve’s life and passing.

North Tampa

North Tampa Christian Fellowship where Dorothy attended church and I was one of the preachers.

Rachel and I were informed of the unexpected passing of Dorothy Goff, on January 7, 2015, a friend from our years in Tampa, FL.  A memorial service will be held on April 18, 2015, at the North Tampa Christian Fellowship. Her three daughters invited us to join them as they celebrate their mother’s life.  Dorothy and I kept alive a distant relationship.  She read my books with interest.

On this past Sunday afternoon My Joy and I went to the United Methodist Church to listen to the Handel’s Easter Messiah  produced by the St. Joseph Valley Camerata.  This musical group was founded 40 years ago by David Seitz and is now directed by Scott Hochstetler, My Joy’s nephew.  Scott introduced the work of Charles Jennens. Words precede music. Jennens created a story line about Jesus followed in Handel’s composition.  He used mainly Old Testament verses and some New Testament verses for this story of passion and resurrection.  To hear “we shall be changed” click here.

This blog begins with Verdi’s Requiem and ends with the Handel’s celebration of a resurrection. I should end this blog, but I need to tell you of Bruce Kramer. He was an. educator, writer, and conductor.  For five years he experienced and wrote about ALS, his dis-ease.  Kristi Tippit interviewed him on March 23. He died on March 26. The interview was aired on March 29.  You may hear the interview by clicking here.  In it Kramer said, “I’ll be here, till I’m not!”  That is true of each of us.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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1 Response to From Death to Life

  1. Jep says:

    We shall be changed….The trumpet…etc. is a spiritually moving rendition. Thank you for the link.

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