Well, it seems as if our holiday tradition of illness or injury continues this year as my youngest, myself, my dad and I all came down with the flu this weekend and my in-laws are trying to work off colds. Luckily, the icky part of the flu seems to be past, leaving behind a persistent cough that's about to do me in. I took about 2 and 1/2 shots of whiskey last night before bed thinking that should take care of the cough. Not sure it did much there, but I did get a great night's sleep and woke up very refreshed this morning! Not wanting to start a bad habit, however, I decided to forgo Mr. Seagrum's for Mr. Robitussin tonight. The result, wide awake and still coughing at a quarter to midnight. I think I need some codine.
More important than my bout with the flu, this weekend saw the passing of one of the patriarchs of our church. With six children and scores of grandchildren, he took his last breaths surrounded by over 20 family members, hearts full of love and gratitude for the life he lived. Just before he passed, one of his grandsons called out, "We love you, Grandad!" This afternoon, the man's daughter told us how it seemed as if her nephew, in that moment, was cheering her dad on to the finish line of a race. This family is so remarkable, so full of love, of life, and so full of gratitude for the lives they've shared with one another. Although they have suffered loss, both now and previously, their hearts seem always full of joy and graciousness abounds from them.
And this thought also came to me: this is what Christmas is really about. Christ came to conquer death. When those who know Him leave this earth, they are welcomed with shouts of praise and acclamation on the other side. While we gather to mourn, the company of heaven gathers to celebrate the return of one who has come home. These are the great tidings of glad joy the angels brought that night. It wasn't just a celebration of birth, but of re-birth, of reconciliation. It was a homecoming, and because of Jesus' homecoming, we will be welcomed home too. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant...
Blessings and Peace,