Saturday, 13 June 2009

"I am the resurrection and the life, " says the Lord.

"Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die." John 11:25-26
When friends die there's suddenly a great emptiness... Into that space come reminders of comfort and words to strengthen.
At a funeral we hear the triumphant words of our Lord Jesus, "I am the resurrection and the life." And to those words I turn today.
Last night a friend and two young men died in a plane crash. As their names were released this morning memories of childhood came flooding back when Hugh (the deceased pilot of the light aircraft), his siblings, my cousins and I enjoyed long warm summer days, playing in the countryside without a care in the world. We caught little fish in the stream, lay reading comics among the bales of hay, climbed ditches and helped with chores around the houses.
Hugh was the strong policeman who supported the three of us sisters at the sudden death of our father. His gentle efficiency made that journey less difficult.
And now he is with his Lord. His family mourn and will miss him so much. His friends and colleagues have lost someone special. But he has left behind a beautiful legacy as a good man. A Godly man.
There are three families in Kilkeel today whose hearts are breaking. And all round the province, and beyond, there are many who share that grief.
Words of comfort from the BCP:

God of all consolation,
whose Son Jesus Christ was moved to tears
at the grave of Lazarus his friend:
Look with compassion on us your children in our loss;
give to our troubled hearts the light of hope,
and strengthen in us the gift of faith,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

Christ has been raised from the dead: the firstfruits of those who sleep. 1 Corinthians 15:20

Eternal God, we give thanks
for all those who have died in faith,
for the unceasing praise of the company of heaven,
for the promise to those who moourn
that all tears shall be wiped away,
for the pledge of death destroyed and victory won,
for our foretaste of eternal life
through baptism and eucharist,
for our hope in the Spirit,
for the communion of saints.
May we live by faith, walk in hope and be renewed in love,
until the world reflects your glory
and you are all in all.
Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.

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