Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mixed Emotions ...

This has been a week of very mixed emotions. As I stated in my Monday Musings post last Sunday was such a good day and then I got the call on Monday morning that a young man, 41 years old, had died. We knew he was dying, after a long battle with cancer. That brought me back down. But I had the privilege to lead him to the Lord a couple of weeks before he died, so in the midst of the sorrow was the joy of knowing he is with the Lord. Funeral planning is never easy and is even more difficult when it is for someone so young and who leaves behind a spouse and children. The family had decided to have their Christmas on Friday, less than 3 days before he died, and just 24 hours before he become basically non-responsive. That was great timing, God is good isn't He?

Imagine trying to tell a 3 and half year old that Daddy is gone. Pray for this family. The visitation and funeral went well and it was a great moment to share with those at the funeral that he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. There were several at the funeral who do not know the Lord. But it was also difficult in that I don't want those people to think that they can just wait and take care of things with God just before they die. We don't always know when our time will come. That created some mixed emotions. Also, I did this young man's mother's funeral just 10 months ago. So for his brothers and sister they have lost a mom and brother in a span of 10 months and face this Christmas without either of them for the first time. The good news, his mother was a Christian so they will now be united. How cool is that?

All of this took place in the midst of an all church Christmas Dinner the evening of the visitation and while planning for our own Christmas programs in just a week and preparing to preach and teach today. Thus is the life of a Pastor things rarely stop just because something extra has arisen.

Mixed emotions are always a part of the life of a Pastor at Christmas. There are many extra things, special programs, several opportunities for Christmas gatherings around the church, special family times and all of the normal stuff as well. To be honest most pastors I know are relieved when the Christmas season finishes and then we feel guilty for having that feeling at such a special time of the year.

Mixed emotions are difficult and all of us face them regularly. But during this time of year, let's not forget that it is really about God sending His Son Jesus to bring us life, forgiveness and salvation. That must be the real focus and the motivation. So while you are sorting through all of your emotions this Christmas remember that, "...a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."


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