As I stood squeezed in the corner of Jeremy’s hospital emergency room last night, watching our dear brother move from earthly life into life eternal with His Savior, I had plenty of time to reflect, pray and worship God who holds each of our lives and days in His hands. At times like this you realize that the hope we’ve been talking about for a few weeks this Advent season is something that changes everything, especially death, all year long.
As you would expect, Jeremy was surrounded by dozens of his loving family and friends. In his brief yet extraordinary three-plus decades of life, his was a life that quietly touched so many with his gracious spirit and steadfast love. I doubt that I’ve known anyone who handled the depth of his challenges with such amazing peace, perseverance, resolve and gentleness. Anyone who knew Jeremy couldn’t help but be inspired to live life differently…better…more hope-filled.
Standing in that little room singing Christmas carols with others grieving the end of this life with someone we all love seemed like a fitting capstone to what Christmas is all about. This time it wasn’t angels singing at the birth of a babe, “Glory to God in the highest,” but humans singing the same refrain at the death of a saint. It wasn’t shepherds leaving sheep to search the streets of Bethlehem for a king. Instead it was earth-bound saints of God leaving the routines of an ordinary evening to declare the goodness of our extraordinary God who has conquered death for us. Truly the Light of the world is also the Hope of the ages.
As we’re ushered into worship of the Christ child this Christmas Eve and Christmas Sunday, may it be not so much a weekend of gifts and food as a season of gratitude and fellowship. May God’s Gift, the Hope of the world, breathe fresh hope and joy into each of us. And may this Christmas 2016 be filled with expectant hope that leads all of us into more life in Jesus Christ this coming New Year.
See you Christmas Eve at 4:00 p.m. and/or Christmas Day at 10:00 a.m. at the Healing Rooms! And please keep Jeanette as well as Jeremy’s whole family in your prayers as they pass this Christmas missing an amazing man.
A blessed Christmas to you all!