“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." Isaiah 25:6-9
Yesterday morning the sunrise was beautiful as I drove along Lake Minnetonka heading downtown to work. I thought about how later in the day I was going to attend Lucy Melquist’s funeral in Cokato. Her son Duane and family were our neighbors.
A tenant stops by my office with a problem easily solved but she seems to be angry all the time, not at me but angry at the world. Men working on our new building shout as they are trying to wrangle sheet rock through the third floor window. The homeless woman Marie walks by and smiles. We know each other; she only asks for help when she needs it, or so she tells me. Mike stops by to finish winterizing the sprinkler system on our building…life moves on.
I have work and things to look forward to, projects to do, air to breathe, sermons to preach. I laugh at Andy’s crazy e-mails; Katie tries to take a picture of her cat in a Christmas costume—he doesn’t cooperate but the picture turns out well—we laugh.
Family and friends are coming for Thanksgiving, young and old, happy and sad. We have much to be thankful for—great crops and prices in a year where most everyone else was dry. Our new business venture moves ahead with many problems. That’s good, otherwise we wouldn’t have anything to do and we’d be complaining.
Tyler’s football team made it to the dome, but lost. Noah’s play was a resounding success. Nephew Paul was home from Corpus Christie; we said hi and hugged. We didn’t get much time to say much beyond “I love you” before old friends pushed in for attention.
That’s the way life is, bits and pieces, life, death, small victories, accomplishments treasured but quickly forgotten. Funerals attended, memories pushed to the surface, tears shed, and hope springs eternal. The sprinklers get fixed, the angry woman smiles and the homeless woman walks on. She may be happiest of all.
This Thanksgiving may we be thankful for all things; blessings and trials, the same. Life and death the same. Victories won and battles lost; thankful all the same. Value each smile; appreciate each hug, it may be the last.
The God we serve is Lord of all things not just the “good” things as we, with limited judgment, judge them to be…let’s be thankful for just one more day. Share the tears, laugh out loud, dance for joy, sing as if no one is listening (they probably aren’t any way). Our God is Holy and Good beyond measure.