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The Rev. Dr. Debra Samuelson The Rev. Dr. Debra Samuelson

The Rev. Dr. Debra Samuelson is the senior pastor of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Minneapolis, MN.

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Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Minneapolis, MN

“All of us will live on in the future we make.” (Senator Edward Kennedy)

September 01, 2009


      I am deeply saddened by the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.  A champion for the downtrodden, his core value was making this world a better place for the disadvantaged.  He had a hand in shaping laws on education, health, labor and civil rights that affected hundreds of millions of American lives. 

      Yes, this champion was a flawed character.  Yes, there was Chappaquiddick that followed him to his grave.  But God has a history of using flawed characters to bring about God's purposes.

      Abraham is known as the "father of the faithful" but not because of his perfect life.  Through Abraham's lies and his doubts, it was God who was faithful.  Abraham's victory over his recurring doubt and unfaith was a victory gained through God's forgiving grace.  Through that forgiving grace Abraham lived to receive, rightly, the title as the "father of the faithful."

      Jacob was a cheat and a liar.  He cheated his brother out of his birthright and lied to his dying father to receive the blessing.  We see again, how God chooses and works through unworthy characters and unsavory situations.  Jacob, or Israel, lived to become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

      Jesus tells us in the 25th chapter of Matthew that those who inherit the kingdom and are members of his family are those who cared for "one of the least of these."  (Matthew 25:31-46)

      Ted Kennedy, with all his flaws, was one who spent his life caring for "the least of these" in society, being a voice for those who would not otherwise have been heard.  He had an abiding Catholic faith and it was the Roman Catholic's social teachings that informed his life's work. Senator Kennedy said in a speech last December at Harvard University, "We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."  We will all live on in a better future, as a result of the life of this man.


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