Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In
In the words of Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” In my relatively short time in ministry, I am already learning that there is a time and a season for particular events in the life of a church family, including “a time to live, and a time to die.” In the past month, several members and former members of our church family have passed from this life, giving us occasion to reflect on what it means to witness to the resurrection and eternal life in Christ.
Bernie Albright funeral
That reflection comes with stories – memories of both recent times and those long past of the saints who gathered around the tables of this church, who sat in the pews, read scripture, baked bread, served as deacons and elders, and served in the community. That reflection comes in the actions of love and kindness, generosity and service as we comfort one another and those who mourn. And that reflection of life in Christ is visible in our humanity; in the stories that make us laugh; and the images of even our most loved saints being utterly human: eating an ice cream sundae, driving off the edge of the road. These are the memories that lift us up and take us beyond grief to resurrection.
Luncheon for Ruth Miller The details of these stories are like particular threads in a tapestry, each woven with unique precision into a fabric that tells a larger story. Over time, the details begin to fade, the threads become worn and their colors blend together. We may lose track of the particular dates, places and events, and even forget some of the names, but the impact of each life remains woven and imbedded into our lives in ways we don’t always know, but can surely feel.