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Ed’s life was marked by joyful service. How wonderful is this picture of Ed taken as he is serving in the military.

You can see a smile on his face. I didn’t know Ed for long, but I have seen that smile. It seems service, whether in the military, or for his church, or to family – serving others - put a smile on Ed’s face. Fittingly Ed chose a story from Scripture for this day that is all about service. Jesus washing his disciples feet. Jesus says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” Ilsa, Dawn…etc… no one knows better than you that Ed spent his life and even his final days and hours serving others. How fitting is it that Ed chose Scripture for us this day that talks about our Savior who is serving in his final days and hours for that is what Ed was doing. But we receive another great gift from this story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, this Scripture lovingly teaches us about trusting God when unexpected things happen. And we are here today, unexpectedly, for no one say this coming – and we may be asking God, “What are you doing? Why have you taken him now?” and we are given comfort by his very Word. On the night before Jesus was to die, to the surprise of his disciples, Jesus poured water into a basin prepared to wash his disciples feet. Jesus approaches Peter, desiring to serve him, desiring to wash his feet and Jesus says to Peter, "You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand." "You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand." We don’t understand why God took Ed to be with him now – but Jesus reminds us that when we are being served by God, it is best to leave our questions for heaven and give thanks for His Grace on earth. It is best to leave our questions for heaven and give thanks His Grace on earth. Jesus says, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

Although Ed’s death was unexpected and although we didn’t see it coming. It was not unexpected to God – God saw it coming – and God prepared Ed. If we are to reflect upon Ed’s life, then we actually see two servants, Ed serving others – but more importantly, Christ serving Ed. It was in the name of Jesus Christ that Ed was Baptized so that He would receive the promise of salvation and it was Christ who frequently came to Ed, serving Him through the Lord’s Supper so that he would remain in his Baptismal grace. It was Christ speaking to Ed, His Words giving Him encouragement through the trials of life. It was the cross of Christ that Ed looked at so frequently, a reminder of Christ’s death for our sins, and which Saint Paul tells us, “We were therefore buried with Christ through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, God’s Word, Resurrection. We don’t know how all of this works, but when Christ serves his people, he says, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Ed understands now. Ed rests with the LORD in a peace that we hope for. He has been given a paradise won for him on the cross through the suffering servant Jesus Christ. So, maybe it’s time for us to reflect upon our own lives. Christ desires to serve us. Jesus told Peter, "Unless I can serve you, unless I can wash you, you have no part with me." And Peter’s reply, “Lord, don’t just wash my feet but my hands and my head as well!" Saint Ed Appleby, servant of Christ, has been served by Christ – feet, hands, head, body, soul.