A parishioner died unexpectedly yesterday morning. He was a very private individual and had not shared with many people things going on in his life. And yet he was a very personable person who was very much liked and loved in the parish. We will miss him terribly as will his friend and partner of many years.
Trying to find hope can be hard in situations like these. In the loss felt so deeply, where will we find joy? In our Gospel reading today Jesus tells us how John the Baptist was criticized and thought to "have a demon" because he was out in the wilderness baptizing, not drinking or eating like the rest of the world, but instead doing what he believed God would have him do. And Jesus is criticized and called a drunkard for hanging out with tax collectors and eating and drinking. Jesus tells us there is hope: hope in the future, for the people to come who will be part of the kingdom. We know Jesus opened this kingdom for us and that we are living into it each day. And we have a promise of better yet to come, here and now and after we die.
We all are going to go the way of Gene someday: some of us sooner, some of us later. That shouldn't be something that we fear. Living our lives to the fullest of our potential, within whatever limitations we have, is enough. Loving those in our lives with the fullness of our being is also enough. Knowing that we are going someplace better is also enough.
Almighty God, our Father in heaven, before whom live all who die in the Lord: Receive our brother Gene into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Let his heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God, and the God of those who live. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, page 466)
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.