April Insight from Lutheran Giving

Beyond Death & Taxes: An Easter Perspective

Written by: Sarah Callahan, Executive Director- Lutheran Giving

Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted for having written, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” It is a somewhat cynical sentiment many of us share. We begrudgingly acknowledge that both are undesirable, but unavoidable. As Easter people, Christians have cause to be a bit less cynical. And since Easter and the annual tax season are always so close together, perhaps we should consider both death and taxes.

Easter shows us that death is not an ending but a gateway to a life that has no end. It is the culmination of our baptism and the promise of the resurrection we have in Christ Jesus. We strive to live long and fruitful lives as God intends, but when we come to the end we trust that death does not have the final say.

Taxes, although no one’s favorite, are necessary for this earthly life. They are part of what we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer when we say, “…give us this day our daily bread.” According to Luther’s description of “daily bread” in the Small Catechism we need more than just food and drink, clothing and shelter, etc. we also need “upright and faithful rulers” and “good government.”

Those things have a price tag. Lutheran Giving can help you make plans for gifts that honor the lifetime of work it took to accumulate what is given. It is even possible that your planned gift can be made in such a way that it lasts beyond your lifetime. Admittedly part of what these plans often accomplish is the avoidance of some taxes. This is not contrary to our responsibility to provide “daily bread” for our use and for the needs of our neighbors. Instead the tax laws allow such plans to acknowledge the important work of your beloved non-profit organizations and home congregation.

A good estate plan is actually a faithful expression of our Christian view of both death and taxes. It is our final testimony about our faith, and it is our final act of love toward our family, loved ones and our unknown neighbors. We may not be able to avoid death or taxes completely, but we can make the most of both.

Lutheran Giving’s gift planning services are available at no charge to those interested in leaving legacy gifts to
their local congregation or to one of Lutheran Giving’s ministry partners. To learn more visit