There’s been a lot of life lately. This last week we have attended several rites of passage, ceremonies that mark a turning point in someone’s life.
It started with a Lutheran confirmation. Our wonderful bonus daughter, a beloved member of our family, dressed up in her national costume and confirmed her dedication to Jesus. It was precious. As we prepared for that day, I sorted through tons of pictures and memories, laughing and crying while thanking God for his faithfulness to her and praying for the years to come.
The following day, we met with our house church and took communion, celebrating our daily walk with Jesus. There, surrounded by friends, we received his body, his life, his power. We talked about living power-filled life. Anything else would be denying the nature of the holy communion.
A few days later, Thomas attended a funeral while I prepared for a wedding. It was a day of contrasts, but of celebration, nonetheless.
The burial marked the transition from death to life, from temporary to eternal. It is possible to celebrate someone’s life and homecoming to Jesus, and still weep with those who grieve, acknowledging their loss.
In the wedding ceremony later that day two became one, marking the start of a joint walk with the Lord. It was beautiful. I was blessed to follow the bride closely throughout the day, and I was reminded of how we as a church are a blossoming bride expectantly awaiting our groom. The tender affection they showed each other filled me with gratefulness and hope.
May 17this the Norwegian Constitution Day. While other countries celebrate such a day by putting on military parades or extravagant displays of power, the Norwegian National Day is very different We teach our children to cherish their freedom, which is why they take to the streets, yelling “Hooray!”, waving their flags while singing, and eating an obscene amount of ice cream which they then spill all over their national costumes. It’s all worth it. Norwegians consider our freedom a valuable legacy that we leave our kids.
We finished this week with a baptism service and celebrated a new walk with the Lord. As I watched them, I marveled in the mystery of God coming close, making a pact, and promising never to leave.
Because he never leaves.
Through sickness and health, for better or worse, in life and in death, he remains present. Able. Willing. Faithful.
There are different seasons in a year, but we seem to have popped by several of them just this week. Life will do that to you sometimes.
It’s all good. Because he never leaves.