A Thanksgiving to Remember…
November 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Unlike most Thanksgivings this one will be different – for our family and for me as a pastor. Along with our daughters and longtime friends, Thanksgiving Day will be spent in New York City at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, followed by a visit to the 9/11 Memorial. The weather promises to be perfect for the occasion and needless to say, we can’t wait.
And while this is enough to make a day unique, it will be what happens on Saturday that will set it apart for me. That day we will have the Memorial Service for a young man who passed away early this past Monday morning. His name is Jon (pictured above with his wife, Anna), and he was 27 years old.
Last year I had the privilege of performing their wedding ceremony, and only a few months ago they discovered that Anna is pregnant with their first child, a daughter. As you can imagine, it has been a sad and somewhat painful journey for these two young people.
In his amazing paper entitled, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis writes, There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. For me, crossing paths with this extraordinary young man and his young wife has felt like being admitted into a sacred trust. Sitting with them in his last days, hearing their hearts, sharing their sorrows and observing their faith, have left me the better.
The picture above was taken of Jon and Anna, just a few weeks ago. Jon extremely is ill, but he is smiling because in his few days on earth, God had already given him everything one could aspire to if he lived 100 years. He got it all, starting with, and then continuing on, with Jesus.
In a few hours our daughters will be home. Their presence will bring such joy to our hearts. Because of our trip, we will dig into Katherine’s amazing cooking on Friday. We will wish out loud that our son and his wife could be with us, though glad they could be with our daughter-in-law’s family in Florida. Together we will wholeheartedly rehearse our gratitude: for Jesus – for one another – for family – for life – so much to thank our God, the Provider, for.
But this Thanksgiving my gratitude is multiplied because of this extraordinary young man who has made it Home, to the Feast, and who awaits those of us who love the Redeemer he now beholds, Jesus.