Had a good, but hard visit with a parishioner with lung cancer that has spread to the brain. It is a Good Friday time-dark, bleak with death all around and a deep grief. We cried together. I pray that I and the church will help walk her home, difficult as that always is. And in all this grief lies the promise of Easter, the new and everlasting life that awaits us all, that the risen Christ brings to us. I cling to that promise, especially now, in the gut-wrenching, heartache of life right now. Our only hope, is the hope of our faith, the hope of our risen Lord. It is in that hope that we live and die and live again. It is in that hope that we walk through our days, that we walk through this Holy Week to the Cross.
On Monday night, the Men's AA group was still meeting after Session meeting was over. A woman stood in the hallway and I asked if I could help her. She said there had been a family emergency and they were getting their relative out of the meeting - apparently a 15 year old had committed suicide. As the two men joined this woman, eyes welled up with tears, numb with shock, not knowing what to think or feel, I offered to pray with them and for them.
Another parishioner is facing throat cancer and still awaiting results and a meeting with the doctor to see what treatment might be best.
This Holy Week has been filled with grief and echoes the grief even yet to come.
And that is why our Lord gave himself away on the cross. There was no other way for us or through this. The power of Easter seems even greater this year. We are God's now and forever, in this life and in the new life we will be birthed into even as we leave this world and shed our bodies. Life is ours! Life will always be ours!
Thanks be to God.