Reflections on being home…

After being at our friend Julie’s memorial service a couple of weeks ago I’ve had a few days to reflect and have read a few emails on reflections my friends have had about the service and being together to remember Julie’s life. Here are a few thoughts about that day…

As we pulled up to the church with our friends I was struck again with the memories of a church that has been and is still in many ways my home. As folks arrived for the memorial service for Julie it was hard not to notice the numbers of friends and family members who were in attendance to grieve but to also celebrate the eternal life Julie has now with the Lord. As we sat down in a sanctuary where I spent most of my life hearing the Word of the Lord proclaimed in, I couldn’t help but notice the familiar faces and friends who I hadn’t seen for several years. A friend who was in my wedding who I hadn’t seen for close to 15 years. Another set of friends who were in my youth groups while growing up with Julie. Even another set of friends who were my youth leaders when I was in the Junior High, high school , and college youth groups at the church. Friends who have aged. Pastors who have been spiritual mentors. A youth pastor who I consider a surrogate father. A best buddy who I talk to almost weekly. As we sat in the service I felt an overwhelming sense of Gods grace in my life. In this place I called home for so many years was the place I rededicated my life to Christ, where I was baptized, where I became a member of the church. This was the place I promised to the Lord I would be faithful to my wife, to pray for her and love her through the joys and sorrows of life. This place I called home is where I committed to the Lord that I would be the kind of father and husband that my father wasn’t. This was the place where I sensed the Lord’s calling into full-time pastoral ministry. Lord thank you for the new life Julie has with you and thank you for the life you have given me because of this place that has and will always be home, this, your church, a place where the brokenhearted can find hope and grace as I have found, a place in which I’ve come to know that you are the Lord above all life and the one who has and will make things right.

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