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    2006-08-26 Mourning pretty

    In Christ alone my hope is found
    He is my light, my strength, my song
    This Cornerstone, this solid ground
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm


    The Lion King taught be a great lesson, it taught me that life and death are intertwined in this world.  Lions eat the antelope, lions die and feed the grass, and the antelope eat the grass.  Yes dear reader, there is a circle of life that moves us all (and you now have the song is stuck in your head).

    In Scripture, we are told that the pain of death is something that we cannot escape.  It is always there, lingering on the sidelines of life.  As the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, there’s a time to live and a time to die.  In my case, there’s a time for the birth of my daughter and a time for the death of my grandmother.  Readers, life is strange like that.

    No guilt in life, no fear in death
    This is the power of Christ in me
    From a life’s first cry to final breath
    Jesus commands my destiny

    Recently, I lost somebody who impacted my early life.  My grandma helped form who I am in Christ.  One thing I remember vividly was when she picked me and my brother up from school and took us to the Peppertree Frosty to get an ice cream cone.  I remember sitting in her car, eating that cone as she began telling us stories.  She told us stories about how Abram was called from the land of his fathers and how he journeyed with God, eventually taking on the new name Abraham.  She told us about Ruth and how she became a key part of the lineage of Jesus.  She told us about David and how he was a man who followed God even with imperfections.  

    She recounted the stories of people who followed after God.  While eating ice cream, she embedded into me the tales of faith and how imperfect people could follow after Him.

    No power of hell, no scheme of man
    Could ever pluck me from His hand
    Til He returns or calls me home
    Here in the power of Christ I stand


    When my grandma was laid to rest next to my grandpa, I was reminded about how all I can do in this world is build a legacy in others.  I can leave behind a life of faith that was given to others.  A life of faith that was poured into the lives of family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.  As Bonhoeffer would suggest, life together with others is only made better through being united in Christ.*

    From the (soon to be) first cry of my daughter, to the final breath of my grandmother, I will trust in the assurance that in Christ alone I can put my hope.  That it is in his assurance of life, that I can leave a legacy of faith to others.  I can point them to the great story of how God pursued his people when they chose to walk away in the Garden.  And we are invited to join this story, a story made even better with an ice cream cone.


    * For more in depth exploration of this, see my four part series on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together that can be found here.

    Photo: Henning Mühlinghaus via Compfight