Just think a moment on the opening line of our great Methodist Advent hymn Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people freeThe hymn calls on Christ to intercede for us on a couple of different levels - that we'd need Christ to come again into our hearts right now, but also that we're looking towards that second coming of Christ.
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Last night, we lost a dear friend of mine (and many, many others), an "Uncle" to my boy, to a heart attack. It reminds me that even as we walk this earth, we're already in an in-between time before joining the Saints above. Even as our church family mourns, we're also called to rejoice - a time that mirrors the paradoxical nature of Advent. I'm sad in my heart, but its because I knew a great man who lived a wonderfully full life of family and ministry that I can rejoice.
I have to remind myself again of the truth - death has lost it's sting through Christ Jesus.
We'll be working out arrangements for his Celebration of Life this week, and I always feel it to be such a privilege to join in the planning. I'm so thankful for the life my friend.