Monday, December 29, 2014

Stable. Cross. Empty tomb.

"How do both the stable and the empty tomb speak to you today?"
Sr. Melannie Svoboda, "Living With Christ"
This was the reflection on Saturday, when the Gospel was about St. John racing to the empty tomb.  It was the feast of St. John, and yet, it seemed so odd to be talking about Jesus' tomb when we just celebrated his birth on Thursday!  So, the do both the stable and the empty tomb speak to us? I contemplated this for quite a while, as our Idaho Falls community lost a very dear friend over the weekend. Just after the joy of Jesus' birth, Keener Earle suddenly and unexpectedly passed away early Sunday morning.  Stable. Cross. Empty tomb.  Keener went straight through the cross and to the empty tomb stage while we were still in shock that he'd suffered a stroke.  Too fast.  Too soon. Jesus' journey from stable to cross to empty tomb gives us such hope that all is well with Keener and he is safely with God.  But what about his family and those who will miss him so terribly as days go on?  We take comfort in the fact that Jesus knew this kind of grief himself.  He wept when his friend Lazarus died.  He felt sorrow and sadness just as we all do when we lose a loved one.  And, if we feel a wave of comfort and peace at any time we can be sure that Jesus is tenderly ministering to us.  Also God gives us each other to comfort one another.  It is such a sad and difficult time, but there is hope in the empty tomb and the promise of new life.  One more thing I'm learning in this: never leave an "I love you" left unsaid.  Ever.  Love, heidi

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