Friday, June 15, 2012

A Word From Pastor Mike... Life is Christmas, Good Friday and Easter

Not long ago the phone call came.  We were prepared.  We knew it was coming.  It was the news that our friend, Claude, had died.

Mike had pretty much known Claude his entire life.  They'd gone to school together for 12 years.  They'd been kicked out of confirmation together.  I didn't meet Claude until I moved to Turner, MT when I was 15.  At that point in his life, Claude was all about fun and friends.  I don't think anyone was ever bored when Claude was around!  Claude also had a sweet and kind side.  He seemed to notice people that others may have overlooked.

About the time Mike & I were planning our wedding, Claude got sick.  In fact, he was to be a part of our wedding but was too ill to attend.  We didn't then know that Claude would never again be well.  He'd have times of better health, but his illness was just the beginning of a long list of trials for Claude to endure.  Somehow, though, Claude managed to make his life meaningful around all the suffering.

Mike was asked to preach the funeral sermon for Claude.  He was honored to do it but I know it was hard for him.  I was unable to go to Montana with Mike because I couldn't find coverage for work.  I hadn't read the sermon until recently, when Claude's wife requested a copy.

I've always told Mike he did fine funerals.  I don't think he took that as a compliment but really, he has a way of bringing peace to people.  As I read Claude's sermon I was really caught by something Mike had written.  He described life by our major Christian holidays.  I know that you all didn't know Claude, although some of you did.  Nevertheless, I have a feeling that the words Mike spoke might bring you a sense of peace or understanding over the loss of someone you knew and loved as well.  I didn't exactly ask Mike if I could publish this but I don't think he'll mind.

"Life is Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. Jesus modeled this life for us. He was born. He had a calling in this life. He suffered and died. And then there was Easter. A new beginning.

We live. We do stuff. And hopefully we feel like God has given us gifts, purpose and calling in this life.  We may even suffer in this life and of course, we will all die. Our hope is in God for a new beginning.

Life’s not a game of perfect. God works with sinners, guys who get kicked out of Confirmation. God opens doors, shines light, gives second chances, forgives sins, builds faith and more.

And when it’s all over we come to moments like this. A service. A commendation. We say to God, “You take over from here. We don’t have the power in us. So we’re trusting Claude into your hands. He’ll be okay and we won’t lose heart.”

Like Mike said, "God, you take over from here."


Allen said...

I'd like Mike to do mine-I know Claude loved it.

Happy Elf Mom said...

Hugs and prayers to Claude's family! I'm sure Mike did a great job and brought comfort to them as well. :)

AKM said...

Perfectly said by Pastor Mike, I believe.

Prayers for peace and strength for Claude's family.

Kathy (from Bliss Habits) said...

Thank you so much for sharing over at Bliss Habits! Very inspiring!!

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