From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 8th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi all,

So it has been about 2 weeks since my father passed and really I don’t want it to consume my entire life.  I know it is a big event for people when they lose a parent, but life must still go on.  But even as I hear the keys on my keyboard clicking out these words that are in my head, all I can think of is “easier said than done.”  So while this stuff is on my mind anyway, I will choose to see the good in the situation, what positive things have come out of my father’s death, and where God is present in our sorrow and mourning.

And it is nice, actually.

I’m not saying that I am glad that my dad died, not by a long shot.  But I am glad that I can see God working in my family and around us. I look at how my siblings and I have pulled together these past few weeks and all the time we have been spending together.  We haven’t done this since maybe I was in high school!  I hear the stories my mom has been sharing and the admiration she had for her husband, something that we knew was there but didn’t often hear about.  I read the messages left by other family and friends expressing their concern and support and it is all overwhelming.

Overwhelmingly joyful, that is.

And then there is my kids.  My kids who on the best of days seem like all they care about are themselves and having the toy or video game that they want, kids that seem so self-centered and selfish, kids that are just completely oblivious to the world, they would come up to me when I am weepy-eyed and silently give me a hug or pat my head or just stare into my eyes and ask “why daddy sad?”  I see the love of God in my kids as well.

So in this time of grief, I am getting better.  I increasingly see God among us, and I increasingly feel thankful.

The readings for next week are:
I Kings 3:5-12
Psalm 119:129-136
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

The kingdom of God is a mysterious thing.  It shows up in the most random and unexpected places, and it comes also in the most obvious and predictable places.  The kingdom of God is found in the mundane day-to-day and also in the extreme highs and lows of life.  The kingdom of God is with us even in the inexplicable events of our lives, the ones that confuse us, those that astound us, those that just leave our heads spinning.

The kingdom is here.

And how appropriate (for me at least), that the passage from Romans 8 appears, one that I have used countless times to console those who mourn, to encourage the discouraged, and to remind us that we are indeed loved by the God who created the universe.

You see, God’s love is here, God’s presence and God community have never left.  Sometimes it slips our mind or we fail to recognise it, but that is ok.  Life gets in the way sometimes.  But it is important… imperative even… that we can be reminded constantly that the kingdom is here.  In our family, in our friends, and in our communities, we are constantly blessed out of the abundant grace of God, and lifted up by the eternal arms of love.

I know life sometimes gets hard and often confusing.  But I also know that no matter what we can go through, God has and will love us for all time.  That is a promise.  Thanks be to God!

Have a great week, everyone!

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