There’s a funeral today at work. A few weeks ago a member of the congregation sent an email asking if the church was free to hold a funeral. Even though I knew there would be a funeral taking place, I wasn’t prepared to see the hearse rolled into the church as I arrived for working this morning.
I felt instant sorrow and the atmosphere felt tinged with mourning. Whilst making coffee for the hearse bearers, I overheard an older lady speaking in Krio, the native language of Freetown, Sierra Leone, the place of my ethnic origin. God is saying something to me but that’s for another blog.
Yesterday I read Psalm 130, as part of the Songs of Ascent devotional found on Shereadstruth.com
This morning on the train I hopped onto the She Reads Truth website and was reminded that ladies across the world were encouraged to read Psalm 130 this week and teach one another from this Psalm. We are currently exploring Fasting for the first ten days of Lent. Giving something up in Lent isn’t about looking good or going with the flow. It’s a heart condition -realising that we are weak, in need of a Saviour, disciplining our hearts and bodies to put aside what gives us pleasure and seeking God in a raw way. This isn’t about religion, it’s about a relationship. The relationship that cost God His only begotten Son and displayed the ultimate sign of love and sacrifice recorded in human history.
Just under 200 people gather in the Sanctuary next to the room where I am writing this blog. They are remembering the relationship that they had with a man who is no longer with them. Everyone has their own stories and personal memories, the highs and lows that they experienced with him. Don’t worry, I won’t go into the ‘you should love people whilst you are still around them’ cliché – although that is true. However, the funeral has put Christ’s death into context for me. Mary, His mother and His disciples grieved when Jesus was placed into a tomb on that Friday evening. Although Jesus told His disciples that the day would come when He would be crucified, nothing could prepare them for that eventuality. Their hearts wouldn’t allow them to accept this truth because it didn’t make sense to them. Some things never makes sense, but friend there is hope.
Even when it seems that the bottom has fallen out of our lives, God listens to our cries of mercy! God keeps no recordings of wrongdoings, forgiveness is His habit and that’s why we worship Him. With God’s arrival in our lives, when we accept the saving grace of Jesus Christ, His love and generous redemption is never far behind. Jesus came to redeem the lost, the broken, the sick and the neglected. He came for me and you to buy us back from the captivity of sin. (Psalm 130 Message translation paraphrased).
If I could ask my boss, the vicar, for the mic, I would love to encourage the mourners that a new day has come and although the loss of their loved one must hurt a shed load, he is resting and God will give them all the comfort they need to navigate this next season of life. I encourage you as well, that no matter what you are facing, God listens to every plea of your heart and is already healing you, even if you don’t know it.