It is tough to start with "Happy Friday" on a week in which we have lost two dear members of our congregation, two long-time, pillar-of-the-church, members. Both Norm and Ron have been with Christ Church since near its beginning. Both men have served in a variety of ways over the years; both men have left a legacy as a result of their service.
In the spirit of Psalm 90:12 which reminds us to "number our days that we might get a heart of wisdom” let me offer a couple of observations. Earlier I used the word legacy with respect to Ron and Norm. When loved ones pass we remember the impact they made on their surroundings while they were living. We remember the good times we shared, the things they taught us, the ways we were helped or served by them. We remember how they handled the ups and the downs of life. As we remember, we realize that we have been marked by those things, both for good and for ill. This marking, this transmission, is a legacy. The interesting thing about legacy is that we can only build it while we are in the midst of life. We build it during these days that are filled with the ordinary goings on of life in the 21st century and during the not so ordinary events of 2020 in particular. How we live and the choices we make will contribute to the legacy we transmit to those who come after us.
Secondly, I am mindful of every Friday being a "Happy Friday” despite the circumstances that surround it. It was a Friday, after all, on which Jesus went into the grave. It was a Friday when Jesus took the sting of death, rendering it powerless against the believer. It was a Friday when all this talk about legacy moves from something merely of this world, to something in light of eternity. It was a Friday that merged into a Sunday that changed the story for all who are willing to lay down their lives in order to have them taken up by this Risen Lord.
So, where do these two observations converge? All of life is leaving a legacy, but if we want to see our legacy transcend this world we need to live surrendered to the One who has conquered the grave. Both Norm and Ron, their families, and other pillars of Christ Church have done that, and we are the beneficiaries. May God give us all the grace to gain this heart of wisdom.
One of the main ways we pursue this heart of wisdom is through worship. As we come together, open our hearts before the Lord, and open his Word we receive from him the direction that we need. This Sunday we will continue looking at Romans 15, in particular vs. 8-16. This passage provides a culmination for the book of Romans in many respects. I very much look forward to looking at it with you.