Saturday, May 21, 2011

Closer than you think

“I am certain that neither death nor life, no angel or prince,
nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power,
nor height nor depth, nor any created thing can ever come between us
and the love of God made visible in Jesus Christ our Lord."
— Romans 8:38-39

Sometimes it seems like we’re always saying goodbye. In church we make friends, falling in love with our fellow Christians, community members, and partners in ministry. And then they go away for the summer, or sometimes move away, or sometimes pass away.

Summer is upon us: time when families hit the road and head out as far as gas prices will allow. We remember those who travel and pray for their safe return. Vacations, mission trips, visits to relatives, cruises and cross-country tours. If we can manage it, we’re on the move. Our hearts go out to those serving in the military, especially those displaced to distant lands where they work in the danger zone on our behalf. But distance in miles does not mean distance in the heart. We hold them all close through the love of Jesus Christ.
We remember our graduates, heading off to a new phase of life. What a huge step from living under their parents’ roof to venturing out into this big, wild world. Sure, they face responsibilities and risks, decisions and consequences, but also the chance to spread their wings and show us what they can do. Seeing them at their baptism, treading off to Sunday school, and shedding a tear at their confirmation service, you can hardly believe that today they’ve reached adulthood. Was yesterday really so long ago? But the passing years do not mean the passing of our hopes. We will always hold them close in the love of Jesus Christ.
Lois, Jane, and Joyce — three beautiful ladies who loved their shepherd Savior, went to be with Him this month. Gone from our midst and missed, they are still with us in so many ways. The last baby blanket Lois made will be shared with a needy family just as she wanted. When members of Joyce’s family & loved ones gathered at Bushnell, her brother told of her acceptance of Christ. And for Jane who went so quickly we hardly had time to realize what happened, we will hold a celebration when Gene returns from Ohio. But life and even loss of life are no barriers for those who live in God’s promises. There are no final goodbyes, for we know that God will once again bring us all together. We hold them close, and are held ourselves forever in the love of Jesus Christ.


Pastor Scott