“Going Home” sung by Libera
Prepare for the Resurrection
We are reminded at Christmas of those who are no longer with us. It is most intense when family and friends get together to celebrate; we can almost hear the voices from the past and it creates a longing. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” C. S. Lewis
Dear Lord, we know that this life will pass away. Remind us of the hope of resurrection made possible through Jesus. Let us consider the lives of those who have touched us through the years as we long to be reunited with them at your second coming.
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.|” 1 Thes.4:13-18
The faded photos remind me of a past when the generations gathered to celebrate with me, a child, at Christmas.
I can feel the warmth of the house created by the steam of the Christmas dinner.
I smell the lutefisk—stinky like old men’s socks and hear the laughter as I wrinkle my nose in disgust.
I remember the joy of sitting close to my grandparents on the couch, when the eating and gift-giving was complete.
I rested my head on their knee and let them stroke my hair as I fell asleep listening to their stories.
The voices fade with years: the abandoned house sits empty.
Dishes gather dust in the kitchen cupboard,
Pictures, knick knacks, handmade doilies and crocheted pillows wait like museum pieces in the front room for a visit from future generations who will never come.
I ache to be a child again: hopeful, content, loved, cared for, sitting in that space,
To have life ahead rather than memories behind;
To hear the story for the first time and marvel at the angels and shepherds and the baby in a manager;
To sing “Silent Night” in harmony with the generations who went before me,
And hear their prayers of blessing one more time as the family gathers to hear the scripture, sing a carol and celebrate Christmas.
I wait for the feast of the lamb when we will be together again: renewed, restored.
No more death
No more dying, No more pain, No more tears, No more parting.
Together, redeemed, through the blood of the lamb who invites us to His table.
Loneliness will cease; praise begin, the longing will be satisfied.
Points to Ponder
- How do you want to be remembered by generations who come after you? How can you create those memories this Christmas?
- If you could speak to yourself as a child, what would you tell yourself?
O Lord we know that our celebrations in this life will pale in comparison to the feast you have for us in heaven. Help us remember that we have been created for eternity. Thank you for the legacy left to us by those who were faithful to you in the past. Show us how we can pass the faith forward to those who come after us.