iSad – A Lutheran Perspective on the Death of Steve Jobs – One More Thing
Steve Jobs was a man God blessed with many gifts. Lutherans have a particularly keen focus on the doctrine of vocation, that is, that no matter who we are, God uses the gifts He gives us to serve our neighbor and the world. God works through what we call “First Article” gifts. What does that mean? Martin Luther in his explanation of the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth” asserts that God has given, each of us, all our abilities and talents, everything we are, and everything we have is a gift from God to be used to serve others. This is true of every human being. Steve Jobs was gifted with many of these “First Article” blessings. And it is through the gifts that God gives to all men, that He blesses the world with tools and technologies that help us. Steve Jobs was a person God chose to use to give us many of us these wonderful tools, tools now being used to communicate the Gospel of Christ worldwide in ways that we could hardly have even dreamed of just thirty or even twenty years ago. How we use those tools is the key.
Unlike some of my fellow Lutherans and other fellow Christians, who felt a need at Jobs’ passing to begin making pronouncements about his eternal destiny, I am not rushing to judgment. I can’t help but recall Abraham Lincoln’s quip, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Can we learn from Steve Jobs’ errors and mistakes in life? Of course, and we should. Every bit as much as we must learn from our own. But must we, on the news of his passing, be so quick to condemn him and focus only on his faults and failings? No.
One more thing . . .
Steve Jobs was baptized and instructed in the Christian faith, so we can do a bit more than talk about “common grace,” we can also hope that God, in His own ways, at times and places of His choosing, may have worked in Steve’s life, at the last, a remembrance of the gifts from Christ He had received in His life. Unless you have been with a person in their last days, you have no idea what goes on in a person’s heart and mind in the closing days and moments of life. Let us hope that God brought back to Steve the remembrance of what he had been taught as a young man in a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod confirmation class, taught by my friend Rev. Dr. Martin Taddey, now deceased.
So, let’s leave the judgement to God, and leave the judgmentalism to those who have no hope. We who have hope in Christ know that for all mankind the One who suffered, died and rose again as the victor over our greatest enemies: sin, death and the devil, has called us to be His very own. We hold out hope that, in His mercy, He once more reached into Steve Jobs’ heart and mind at the end. And that is the “one more thing” that would be better than anything Steve ever announced and told us about.