July 19

Our church has experienced an unusual number of deaths in the last month.  One lady was over a hundred years old, but another was quite young.  It can be hard not to be weighed down by the sorrow and pain of such loss.  We need to to feel the hurt of losing those whom we love.  One service was particularly painful, but another was actually surprisingly uplifting.  The gentleman who died was a strong believer for many years.  He had participated in the church, but not on every committee that existed.  He was a hard worker who loved his family.  He was an ordinary man.  The joy that shone through all the conversations and witnesses of his life was clear evidence of his relationship with the Lord.  He had been a loving man who welcomed everyone without judgment, yet he held people accountable for right living.  He was an extraordinary man because he was a follower of Christ, who lived what he believed.  I pray that the same can be said of me someday.

Gracious God, you hold each of us in your warm embrace.  Grant peace and consolation to those who mourn.  To all those in sorrow, grant comfort.  Help us to live so that others will know you through our words and actions.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

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