Sunday, October 02, 2016

A Prayer for James

I Gave My Heart

The Sacred Journey brought us together for Jimmy's funeral. I was more than a priest yesterday. I gave my heart to my family. I shared my faith. As we stood at the graveside I took a handful of sandy soil and made the sign of the cross and read the appointed words and paused as the Spirit moved in our hearts and the wind blew through the trees.

I have always loved these stirring words of faith from the Book of Job.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord;
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
I know that my Redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God;
whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold,
and not as a stranger.
For none of us liveth to himself,
and no man dieth to himself.
For if we live, we live unto the Lord.
and if we die, we die unto the Lord.
Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord;
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.

And then there were the words from Isaiah; a vision of the Messianic Banquet. Our family loves a good Thanksgiving feed. What family doesn't? Imagine God's Banquet Table.

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples 
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, 
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. 
And he will destroy on this mountain 
the shroud that is cast over all peoples, 
the sheet that is spread over all nations; 
he will swallow up death forever. 
Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, 
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, 
for the LORD has spoken. 
It will be said on that day, 
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. 
This is the LORD for whom we have waited; 
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Then I shared what I had crafted by way of a Prayer for James.

A Prayer for Jimmie

Gathered here today we bring before You all the things we do not and cannot understand,
And we remember that moment of Grace when in the last moments of Your life, You stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross so that everyone might come within the reach of Your saving embrace,
And even in those last moments of despair and abandonment you were able to say;
“Forgive them Father, they just don’t know what they are doing!”
Now we commend Jimmie to Your never failing love
Knowing that You wipe away the sin and sorrow of his heart and ours.
Knowing that You are wiping away the tears from his eyes and ours,
Knowing that You are doing better things for him and us than we can desire or even pray for.
This is the reason for our faith and our enduring love.
And we press on the best way we know how, doing the work that God has given us to do; to care for and love one another
In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.

I asked for God's blessing on us all.
We gathered then at the Town Hall.
There were lots of people to greet. 

And then home again.

Such is the Sacred Journey the Holy Pilgrimage we are on.
Toward you.
Bless us we pray in every step we take.


Fr Paul

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