Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In community

Last Wednesday I became an unwilling member of a community no one wants to join.  This is the community of people who have lost loved ones during the Christmas season.  Instead of Advent preparations, we are making funeral preparations.  Instead of waiting for Santa, we are waiting for death certificates. Instead of baking cookies, we begin the confusing process of administering estates.  Tears replace laughter, hearts are heavy. 

So what will this Christmas Day bring for me this year?  With my sons and daughter-in-law, we celebrate the incarnation of the Lord.  We rejoice that "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son..."  We are thankful that Jesus came down from heaven to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to the God and Father of all.  We remember with joy that Jesus can and will redeem anything, as long as we open our hearts to Him.  And, we humbly acknowledge that we are heirs of His eternal kingdom.

As for my father?  I see so much of him in my children.  His intelligence, strong sense of integrity, his silly humor, his ability to laugh at himself, his compassion and generosity, his unerring commitment to doing what is right no matter what, and his childlike joy in opening gifts!  We will continue our family traditions, worshipping together, giving and receiving thoughtful gifts, relishing our time together.  Daddy lives on, along with my precious mother, in the lives of their beloved grandsons and in my heart.

As one of my favorite artists, Kathy Mattea, sings:

One tiny child can change the worldOne shining light can show the wayFor all my tears, for what I've lostThere's still my joyFor Christmas day

Yes, Christmas day this year and every year will be full of joy.  Daddy is in heaven with my mother, my sons and daughter-in-law will be with me, and once again we celebrate:
For to us a child is born,    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6
Joy to the world!