Written by Marj Gillespy
My habit is to procrastinate, putting off tasks, especially household tasks, in favor of more pleasant, less rigorous activities. So it’s no surprise that I often send belated greetings—even belated sympathy cards!
But in this case I want to send belated thanks to my church family.
When you reach three score and ten (and beyond), your earthly end is in clear view and you are grateful for every new day, every kindness, and especially now—during COVID—every friend and family member that you spend time with, whether digitally or in person.
I am grateful for a God who knows me and is with me through tough times, for His Son who covers my sins with his blood, for the Spirit that guides me even when I’d rather go my own way. But in addition, I am immensely grateful for the people I have known for 30 years, or 20 years or even a few years who have lived through hard tines, yet faithfully come every week to worship the risen Christ who has walked with them.
They are my teachers, my friends, my family.
No matter which Trinity service I attend, as I sit in a back pew, I see before me, many who have suffered hardships. No one has been shipwrecked or stoned, but books could be written about the sorrows people have experienced in work and family relationships, loved ones denying Christ, acute and chronic health issues leading to disability and even death. There have been job losses, careers cut short, financial hardships, problems with marriages and difficult children of all ages. These experiences have not been limited to those with many years behind them. Adversity comes, sometimes for long seasons, even to the young.
And yet, every week here they are, singing, praying, praising our God who came, as we are reminded every Advent, to share our sorrows as well as our joys.
In an age where it’s common to move every few years, I would encourage people to stay in one place long enough to count the blessings of being around saints who have endured and can still say without hesitation that God’s mercies are new every morning.