Over Thanksgiving break I attended a funeral and a wedding. My father’s brother passed away after fighting complications with his liver, and a dear friend from high school tied the knot with the love of her life. These two experiences both explore the extremes of emotion, and it was even more stark a contrast when you examine the timeline. I went to each only a day apart. As usual, the Lord uses the course of natural events to showcase His spiritual truths, and today I’d like to share with you some personal revelations.
I officiated the funeral service for my uncle. It was my first as an ordained minister, and the program as well as the internment went smoothly, with words of memory from my dad and a couple songs from my sister. We read through the Word and took courage in the fact my uncle made his peace with God before his passing, so we look forward to seeing him again. I witnessed deep grief from family members and partook in their sorrow. It was a strange feeling, reminiscent of my grandmother’s passing (another blog post from a couple years ago you can read here).
The next day my heart overflowed with joy at the covenant made between my friend and her fiancée. Families from around the community came together to cheer on their new life, and we celebrated into the evening. Friends from back in the day brought memories flooding into my mind, and I was uplifted by the atmosphere of ecstasy. It was strange for me to go from such a low to an incredible high, and I was reminded of the turmoil that beset Christ’s disciples: one day He is hanging on a cross and three days later He is risen.
The imagery of the marriage supper was particularly powerful, as I imagined how wonderful it will be when we gather together in heaven and rejoice with Jesus, the bridegroom of the Church. It seemed that I was especially attuned to the joyful wedding, having gone through the ordeal of the funeral.
I want to encourage you today, friends. There are days when we feel all hope is lost, and we may see bad circumstances all around. Take heart in knowing that there is a celebration coming! In this Christmas season, we celebrate the birth of our Savior, but it is important that we don’t leave Jesus in the manger. He grew in wisdom and favor with God and with men, died in our place, and will soon return to redeem us, His bride. I’m looking forward to another successful year with the Chi Alpha Alumni Association and the testimonies of people the world-over who are spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because there is still time left to accept a “Wedding Invitation.”
Be Blessed and Encouraged.