This past week my wife and I drove her aunt and uncle to Montana for her Uncle’s Memorial service. It was a long, 2,000 mile journey through 11 states, but it was a great trip nonetheless. It was a journey of remembering, of remembering the time Uncle Bud drove school buses from North Carolina to Montana with his brother Sam. It was a journey of remembering the trips that Cindy made in days gone by, and it was a trip of remembering all the trips that Uncle Sam and Aunt Saundra made back to North Carolina. In all, nine of Uncle Sam’s relatives made the trip by car or plane from North Carolina to Montana to be there for Aunt Saundra, Lori Jean, Tom, Allison, and the rest of the family. In each case Aunt Saundra remarked that she couldn’t believe that we came out for Sam. Well, Aunt Saundra, we didn’t come out for Uncle Sam. We came out for you.
In preparing for this message, I found myself drawn to 1 Corinthians 15:52-57:
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58 ESV)
The older I get, the more I draw comfort in the words that God leaves for us. They inspire me, the direct me, they are my hope in a crazy, chaotic world. They help me to sleep at night, knowing that whatever happens, God is with me. Aunt Saundra, Lori, Tom, and Allison, God is with you too. Draw comfort in that fact.
Now, please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.