Thursday, August 09, 2007

The beginning and the end

Like, wow. First I post a picture of me and my husband and words like "cute" and "handsome" get tossed around in the comments. Then I confess my lack of funniness and y'all overwhelm me with even more kind words of encouragement. Wow, thanks, y'all know how to make a girl's week!

Today I enjoyed the great privilege of leading a short devotion at the start of the first faculty meeting at one of the local elementary schools. Yes, that's right, public school. When I was telling my sister about it, she kind of gasped a little and asked, "Are you going to say 'God' and all that?" "Oh, yes I am," I replied. You had better believe it. And I did! What an opportunity. What a privilege.

It's an exciting time of year, the start of school. There's just something about we as humans that love new beginnings. As I shared this morning at the faculty meeting, we love new beginnings because we were made for new beginnings. For those of us who belong to Christ, we have been made new; the old has gone, the new has come! We no longer live, but Christ lives in us. Our old self is crucified and our new self now lives for Christ. His mercies are new every morning; great is His faithfulness!

Even as I testified of the new beginning that is ours in Christ, today I also remember the ending of a life no longer lived in this world, now passed into the next. Dear friends of mine are mourning the death of a beloved friend and family member. I too grieve the loss of this godly servant. She rocked my babies and chased my toddlers in the church nursery. Hers was a life lived to the full, all the while doing things her own way. She was stubborn, yes, but also generous and humble. Most of her ministry for the Lord was done unseen, back in the nursery, often overlooked and certainly under appreciated. She fought the weakness of her heart and body for many years, finally giving in Monday. She will be missed.

We honored the memory of the "hat lady" today by wearing hats to her funeral. How grateful I am that we who love her do not grieve as those without hope. The passage from life through death to Life Eternal is a mystery for us here on this side of things. As the preacher read this morning from 1 Corinthians, we now only see through a mirror darkly, but one day--one day, one glorious day!--we will see face to face and know...

Yes, this saint and servant of God no longer knows the pain that had been her constant companion for so long. She is now healed and whole, glory to God. But the true joy of heaven resides not in the glorified body nor the beauty of Paradise, but in the Presence of God. He is heaven! Praise God for the assurance that just as my friend is now with Him in glory, so too will each of us who has placed life and faith in the only One who can save! What grace! What peace! One day we will see face to face and know even as we are known!

3 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing how differently we see things once we're in Christ? Even when someone dies...it's different now.

    I honestly think that this life as we know it isn't the real deal....the real deal is yet to come and your friend is now living it.

    One day we will too - praise God!

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  2. Oh I love that you all wore hats to her funeral...
    I am also excited that you were able to speak of who you are in Christ at the public school. Blessings...

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  3. It is wonderful that we do not grieve as those who have no hope.

    How exciting to be able to give witness of that hope in a public setting, too. Praise God for that opportunity and the boldness to say it!

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