Monday, April 23, 2007

reunions

It was wonderful at the visitation of my father's funeral to see some folks I haven't seen for years, or even decades. It's sad that this is the kind of event that brings us together, and yet that's a happy part of such events.

This reminds me of the reunion we read of in the Bible, between Jacob and Esau. Jacob went with much forboding and fear and understandably so, since his scheming had provoked Esau who then purposed to kill Jacob after their father's death. But when they finally did meet up again, it was a reunion of grace and peace.

I think one of the great things about reunions is that we can put aside whatever differences we have or may have had and focus on what is most important to God, love and truth. Truth and love must be held together in our hearts and we must do so as those who seek to live in God's presence through Jesus Christ. This can end up moving someone closer to God, even as we listen to them talk about something ordinary in their lives, as well as any trials they may be experiencing.

This was just one of the highlights of this past week for me, getting to see and talk again to old friends and acquaintances. It was almost as if God said, "This is what's important. Along with remembering your father and the sympathies expressed, you all need to focus on simply loving one another: in family, in the church family, among neighbors and friends. Let this be a priority, not only here but in all of life. Make time for this."

Thanks again for all of your prayers. It will be great when all of us who have met in cyberspace meet in person someday. We know one way or another we have that to look forward to in Christ.

Do you have summer reunions? And what thoughts might you have on reunions?

8 comments:

Odysseus said...

Ted,

I have the same feelings, most of us probably do. When my Mom's Mom passed away recently, I took comfort in knowing that they were already meeting each other and seeing other family members that had already fallen asleep.

Although we don't have any reunions planned for the summer, I am looking forward to the Great Reunion where I can meet all of my family, natural and spiritual.

Peace be with you.

+ OD

L.L. Barkat said...

Simply loving one another. I suppose that's not so simple a task! But, how dear, that God pointed you to this. Like Paul... "and the greatest of these is love."

Charity Singleton said...

I am the keeper of the family reunion among my mom's extended family. At some point, the family stopped gathering for holidays, much to my dismay, so after my great protests, they dubbed me the Queen of the Reunions. I think we are so divided in our society that we have to make special attempts to be together with people. There can be such diversity in a family, and so much history, that it's good to be together and embrace the differences. How much more this is true of the church.

Glad you are back, Ted. I will continue to pray for you as you mourn and grieve.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

It is good to have you back in the blogosphere.

What a blessing it is to be surrounded by so many in such a time of need. God does provide!

Llama Momma said...

Grief sharpens our focus in life like little else does. Heaven becomes more precious to me with each passing year. That will be the ultimate reunion! (With no bickering!)

Peace to you, Ted. It's good to have you back.

Ted Gossard said...

OD, Thanks. Me too!

L.L., Yes. God points us to what in essence his is: love. Nothing else matters if not accompanied with that.

Charity, Thanks. Great to hear you're into keeping your family reunion going! We miss out on so much not to do this sort of thing much, anymore. And thanks for your continued prayers! I felt very burned out and frankly was grieving over something related to my dad. So I do appreciate that.

Allan, Thanks so much. You're so right. At times I just felt that prayers must be being answered. We do need to learn to be praying for each other like Paul did for others, as we read in his letters.

Llama Momma, Thanks to you too, for your kind words. Grief does make us work through matters and issues sometimes that otherwise we might continue to neglect. I think it can be quite good that way. Yes. It's great to imagine a place in which we are perfected in Christ (though still growing) so that we don't fall into the sins, often verbal, against one another (and sometimes nonverbal). The title of the funeral message for Dad was "Perfected in Christ". Pastor Philip Clemens of Pike Mennonite. Evangelistic and tied Dad in well. A good service I thought.

Every Square Inch said...

Llamma Momma said it well - we see so much clearer after experiencing loss. It is a gift from God.

Ted, I thought of you in my latest post. I trust God will keep you in his peace and help you mourn.

Grace to you

Ted Gossard said...

ESI, Thanks so much. There is so much to mourn and grieve over in this world. But that can help us toward looking to the One who did, once for all, bore our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53).