Y'all, I'm sad tonight. One of our Stephen Ministers, who completed his training in April, passed away today of a heart attack. We got the news this evening at our Stephen Ministry meeting. This man sang in our choir, attended Bible study with me, folded the church bulletins every Friday. Our other Stephen Leader and I trained him in Stephen Ministry, and through that fifty hours of class time I came to know his quiet humor and saw the depth of his compassion for people and love for Jesus.
We will miss him so much, but my heart hurts most for his wife and son.
So it's late as I type this, and I wondered what to post. Scrolling through my card photos, I found this Christmas card that would not have made it to the blog under normal circumstances. It's an odd one, made with a Thanksgiving set from Papertrey (Fall Elegance), but it speaks to me tonight.
Advent, this time of preparation and waiting for the birth of Jesus, has four themes, one for each Sunday of the season: peace, joy, love, and hope.
That little baby born so long ago brought the hope of life eternal in God's presence to all of us...a hope made manifest with His blood shed on the cross. My friend lived in that hope, and now he is joyfully singing in heaven's choir, with his gorgeous Irish tenor.
In this season when we focus so much on joy, so much on gifts and giving and getting and merriment, remember to offer hope to those who are grieving. Joy, well, they can't relate to that, but hope...that's what we all need. No matter what.
Peace, joy, love, and most of all hope to you,