2013-10-03 - Absent Friends
1 Thes 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Today is the fifth anniversary of my brother-in-laws passing. It was completely unexpected. He left behind many of his family including myself who miss him. He and I disagreed over some things - politics mostly. While we were both convicted in our positions we could talk and not leave angry with each other. He taught a catechism class at his church. His first act was to toss the guide book in the trash, and arrange for the students to do volunteer work at a soup kitchen. He wanted them to learn service and the heart of God toward others who had no way to repay the kindness they were shown. It taught them the impact of "a cup of cold water" (Matt 10:24). The students learned the value of what the people they served had to offer in their words, and the value of their gratitude. He left a legacy of touched lives - including mine.
Today is a day of remembrance. As a family of brothers and sisters in Christ we have this hope.
Today is a day that is both sad and sweet. It is sad because we are apart, separated by the veil that hangs between this life and eternity. His eldest son wrote a very touching note to his father and posted it on his social media page. The last words he and his Father exchanged were, "I love you". Something we should be saying to our good friends and loved ones because we do not know when God will call us home too. What will our last words be?
But there is this marvelous certain hope that we will see him soon. In 1 Thes 4 from verse 13 to the end of the chapter Paul writes to the church to encourage them about their friends and family in Christ who have passed through that veil into eternity. He wanted them to be encouraged and comforted and looking forward to the day when we will all be together again.
There are many other friends and family who have gone ahead. They are all home and safe. It is likely that this brings to memory loved ones of you who read this article. Be encouraged. One day we will have time to sit together again at Jesus' feet and listen to Him like Mary chose to do. I hope these words bring comfort and hope that only Christ can offer now and in the future.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.