What a great day it was today! Not only is the sun shining and we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, but we also had the opportunity to plant a tree in our front yard to commemorate this special anniversary. We hope to get pictures up soon, as we do have video and a number of pictures that need to be filtered through and edited (maybe), and then we can post them up in internet posterity!
As great as today is/was, we still have our fair share of not so great moments. As perfect as today may have seemed, we still have our bad days as well. And as joyous and celebratory we may feel, we still remember those times when we might not feel so happy.
I think of my dad not being with my family. I think of Ruth not being with us in church. I think of all those we have loved and lost and dearly miss.
This past week a bunch of us clergy met for our pseudo-regular catch-up-type meetings. One of our colleagues mentioned that he lost his wife this year, and I gather they have been married for a while (he’s been long retired now). Something he said about losing her stuck out for me and many of us there. He said that he is doing ok, because who he is today is largely because of the love she had for him when she was around.
What a beautiful way to see death. What a wonderful way to embrace this tragic part of life and find the blessing it in. What a way to know and hold on to the love that we all share as people, however finite we might be.
Let’s look at next week’s readings. They are:
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Yes, we are blessed. Although we might not always related to all those descriptions in that list, the fact remains that we are blessed. In our good days and bad days, in our times of plenty and times of want, in those moments we want to shout for joy and celebrate and those when we want to cry in pain and anguish… we are blessed.
By “blessed” I mean that God is with us, caring for us, holding us in God’s arms of grace, and loving us into being. In that no matter what may transpire in our lives, God will continue to love us like no other that we could ever imagine or replace.
So much so, that we are who we are because of this love. We are a church because God loves us. We are individuals because God loves us. We are God’s children because God decided to declare us as so and welcomes us into this eternal kingdom of God’s people.
This coming Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day, a day that we remember those in our midst who have died, who have contributed to our community through their wisdom and service, who have helped to shape us to be who we are because of their love for us. As we light a candle for these our loved ones, may we remember this blessing of God upon us and upon them, that we are all continually joined together as the one body of Christ, forever welcomed and loved and brought into the posterity of the gospel story.
Yes, we miss those whom we have lost, but they are never too far away as they continue to live on in our hearts and in us, as their influence and faith have become a part of us, and we a part of them. This is a great gift given to us by God, that even death cannot hold us down, but reminds us of the eternal love and blessing of God upon us all.
Have a great week everyone!