“He taketh the bairns in His arms when they come to deep waters; at least, when they lose ground, and are put to swim, then His hand is under their chin.”
These words penned in the 1600’s by Scottish Pastor Samuel Rutherford were used recently to comfort those attending our Memorial Service Celebration. The annual gathering was an event to celebrate and honor those who have passed away in this last calendar year. Church family and friends came together in the sanctuary with bittersweet emotions.
Our Faith family experienced a wide range of grief this year. We celebrated the home-going of grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, and precious babies. Though it can seem nearly impossible to understand why we experience grief, we were reminded that as we live in a fallen and broken world the consequences of sin affect us all. God never intended there to be pain, suffering, or death. In the Garden of Eden was perfect shalom (peace). Yet as Adam and Eve sinned, representing all mankind, we now experience that which we were never intended.
As Christ-followers, during the Memorial Celebration Service we were able to worship Jesus as our light of hope. We can trust that our pain, suffering, and grief is not a random act. We are never afflicted by chance chaos. If God allows us to experience grief, we can trust He will keep His promise and walk with us through the storm. A deeper and more beautiful relationship with Jesus is ours on the other side of grief, if we trust Him. When the light in our life has gone out, Jesus will be our light. Families lit candles in memory of loved ones passed – symbolically dedicating themselves to trusting Jesus to be the source of their light and promising the light of their memory will not go out.
Ms. Kay Crafton shared Lessons Learned through Loss. Her husband Bill went home to be with the Lord ten years ago and God has blessed her recently with fresh insight and powerful truths which she used to comfort all in attendance. Ryker Dillard used his gift of song to minister to those grieving. A live, piano-played version of “He Covers Me” filled ears and touched hearts. Finally, Bro. Danny Sinquefield shared a sincere message which reminded us Jesus alone is our hope. No matter how recent, how painful, or how overwhelming our grief may be, those grieving can give their broken hearts to Jesus and place their hope in Him.
The night concluded with a very special experience. Everyone in attendance was invited to hang a Christmas ornament on the Memorial Christmas Tree. This tree is located on the north side of our Grand Lobby. Each ornament has the name of a loved one who has passed away this year; it is our chance to honor and remember these lives of our church family members who are physically no longer with us.
** If in the event you were unable to attend the November 15th event, we have all the ornaments of loved ones who have passed in our Care & Counseling Ministry office. Please call 531-6803 or come by the office to pick yours up and hang it on our Memorial Tree in honor of your family.