Robert Shannon tells the story of Edwin T. Dahlberg who was a celebrated Baptist minister in St. Louis, Missouri. Dahlberg said he had an older brother who had the same name as he—a brother who died in infancy. He said that when the baby died, his mother was inconsolable in her grief until she learned she would have another child. Therefore, when he was born they gave him the same name as the child who had not survived.

He said that all of his life he had heard about Edwin who lived and Edwin who died. He said he had stood in the cemetery and looked at the tombstone with his name on it—Edwin T. Dahlberg. He said, “I never stood there without the feeling (once definitely confirmed to me by my mother) that if he had not died, I would never have lived.”

We all have such an elder brother. We wear His name. We live in the certain knowledge that if He had not died, we could never have lived.


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