Originally Posted By: hgordon
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
May 25, 2005
By Harvey Gordon
"The Light at the End of the Tunnel"
Opening Prayer (please read this, but have your heart bowed to the Lord)
Our Heavenly Father, we come to you this Wednesday morning and ask that you shed your mercy upon those who mourn today in this time of sudden sorrow. Father we sometimes are left without reason for the things that happen in this world, but we remain focused on You, and seek Your wisdom in our lack of understanding, Your joy in our sorrows, Your comfort in our brokenness, and Your strength in our weakness. Fill us a fresh Father God with the comforting power of the Holy Spirit, in name of Your Son Christ Jesus ?AMEN
Please read from the Word of our Father in the Gospel John 20:11-18:
"But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God."' Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her."
Today is the first day in days that the sun hasn?t been blinding here in Florida. Weather wise, it?s going to be a regular hot and humid day, followed by possible rain. But this is also a dark day, in spite of the light of the sun that filters through the clouds. Our hearts have been under a pall of darkness since Sunday, May 22nd when the news of Tina's death arrived. Out of the blue, many once normal lives have been cast into a sea of turmoil and grief.
In many cases colleagues, friends and neighbors have or will call with offerings of food and condolences and comfort, hoping to bring some light into lives, which have been momentarily blackened by an event beyond their control.
The family will each look back over photos of happier times, trying to seize the memories of those moments and to construct a barrier against the waves of sorrow that batter them when their guard is down.
And when the sun sets and today and each face the darkness of your loss, and the prospect of another sleepless, restless night, we here today pray that God will give each of you some relief from your sorrow and pain.
In the normal course of our lives we expect, no we hope to live to a ripe old age. We pray that we will have an opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones before we take our last breathe, passing away quietly and silently in our sleep. But often this isn?t the case.
We live in a a world that seems, especially at times like these, to have lost all reason and control.
So we gather with one another as we seek comfort, and we search for understanding. We approach the One who created all that there is, who set the sun in the sky and started the earth in motion.
We come together in God?s presence and cry out to him, in pain, in grief, in anger. And God DOES hear our cries for an answer. He points to a hill long ago, to another who also left at an early age. He shows us Jesus Christ hanging from a cross, killed by the world He died to save.
But this isn?t God?s final answer.
He leads us to a tomb where three days later, in the brightness of the dawn, we meet a handful of frightened and confused women. And it is here that God definitively answers our cries. For we understand that out of the sudden death of Jesus Christ there occurs a transformation, a hope and a promise of a time of justice and peace, in a place where there will be no more pain or suffering, where every tear is wiped from every eye.
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ is with us at all times, in the darkest moments of our lives, during the times when we can barely imagine going on living, when we cannot see which way to go, when we feel the sting of the loss of a loved one.
When we grope in the darkness of our loss we are assured that Jesus Christ is there to guide us as the One Light that the world could not extinguish.
We, here on the message board, gather today to bid farewell to you Tina, a beloved Daughter, Sister and friend, and we bid you go in peace with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Walk with Him until we all meet again, face to face, at the breaking of the dawn of the new creation.
For this is the promise of God!
I want you to read this poem, I felt was fitting as to what Tina would want to say right now to each one of us.
I?m Free !
Don?t grieve for me, for now I?m free
I?m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life?s been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one?s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don?t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.
Our prayer as, we here on this message board join with the Valley Family in Massachusetts, to commit Tina: (please read this as you bow your heart to the Father.)
Father, we join together although in this virtual place but united by You now, faithful to You even though we are still unclear as to the reasons or purpose of why our dear Sister has been taken. We know that Your kingdom is just and pure. Through Your Word we know that Your promise is clear and no doubt Tina is with you now being comforted, without pain, without sorrow and tears and most of all Eternal Life in your Glory. We now commit our SISTER Tina to you Father; we look forward to the day when we can share again with her in Your kingdom. We commit this earthly body?for we know that when Christ Jesus returns, she will be resurrected into her glorious heavenly body?Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
If you participated here today, and prayed this prayer, we ask that you acknowledge your participation by posting your respects following.
I received a Private Message this morning from David who says this has been really tough and that he and the family appreciate each of your comments and prayers.