Written by Sherry
Thursday, 27 November 2008 08:47
It's is coldish (28 F) and grey this morning in Colorado Springs. There is a chance of snow.
I turned on the radio a few minutes ago to provide a background for the chore of grating 12 limes and a couple oranges for the turkey glaze. They were playing the Hallelujah Chorus.
I was instantly transported back in time. At home, my father always cooked the Thanksgiving turkey himself and played the whole Messiah over and over as he did so. It was due to my dad's efforts in cooking, music, and decorating that we always had a festive Christmas. He was a perfectionist about the Christmas tree, seeking out beautifully shaped Noble firs even when we lived in Mississippi; trees that took full advantage of our 9 foot ceilings.
Dada died two years ago suddenly while I was teaching a Making Disciples seminar and I couldn't get home in time to see him again. So this morning I am thinking of Dad, giving thanks for my father and praying for him. At his funeral, one of his old working buddies told how my father's life of discipleship had drawn him to Christ and changed the course of his life. May the same be said of all of us.
On this day of feasting and gathering and poignant memories for many of us, it is so comforting to be able to entrust our present and our futures and those of those we love to a God whose love cannot be defeated by death. We live in a world where Resurrection and Mercy is the deepest truth, deeper than any loss or separation we can experience in this life.
As John Donne observed in his magnificent sermon for Christmas Day in the Evening:
In paradise, the fruits were ripe, the first minute, and in heaven it is alwaies Autumne, his mercies are ever in their maturity. We ask panem quotidianum, our daily bread, and God never sayes you should have come yesterday, he never sayes you must againe to morrow, but to day if you will heare his voice, to day he will heare you.
If some King of the earth have so large an extent of Dominion, in North, and South, as that he hath Winter and Summer together in his Dominions, so large an extent East and West, as that he hath day and night together in his Dominions, much more hath God mercy and judgement together.
He brought light out of darknesse, not out of a lesser light; he can bring thy Summer out of Winter, though thou have no Spring.
Though in the wayes of fortune, or understanding, or conscience, thou have been benighted till now, wintred and frozen, clouded and eclypsed, damped and benummed, smothered and stupefied till now;
NOW God comes to thee, not as in the dawning of the day, not as in the bud of the spring, but as the Sun at noon to illustrate all shadowes, as the sheaves in harvest, to fill all penuries.
All occasions invite his mercies, and all times are his seasons.