My heart has been full this week. It's full from watching the exciting life changes of Josiah and Morgan as they start their life in Costa Rica, from interactions with you, our neighbors, and the world around us, and from reflecting upon the passing of a mentor.
Often the worship of Sunday shapes my week in some way. Our lament service this past Sunday certainly had that effect. Those who shared did so vulnerably, honestly, and so on target, both with their laments and in the hope that they have. We were reminded in the words of Kirsten Ryken that, "You can’t offer real hope and happiness to those suffering without first acknowledging that they are, in fact, suffering." We were encouraged by our music makers' rendition of Is He Worthy by Andrew Peterson. It was a shaping time.
This week I also found out Dr. John R. de Witt passed away. He was the first pastor I worked with, with that being over 20 years ago. Looking back on that time, I was so inexperienced that I didn’t realize what a gift our relationship was or how fortunate I was to have someone with his experience and wisdom to glean from. His integrity, character and love for his congregation shown through. Over the years snatches of conversation or his ways of being have emerged, and I have come to realize his legacy that he continues to leave for me. I haven't found so much sadness as I have reflected, but rather the continued invitation to strive into Paul’s words of 2 Timothy 4:7-8, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
As we think of our own legacies we also think of our lives together. This Sunday Christ Church, along with the Great Lakes Presbytery, will formally recognize the call to ministry for our brother Addison in ordaining him to the Gospel ministry. What a testimony to those who have invested in him along the way and to the continuing story of God working in and through his people. Dan Denk will be bringing the message while other members of the Presbytery also attend.
May God give you grace in your own reflections.