Dear Church Family,
This past week has been filled with emotions…both high and low.
It began on Sunday with the joyful baptism of my 7 year old niece, Reese. She invited Jesus into her heart on Easter of 2015 and has been asking us about being baptized for the past few months. Having had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her about this important faith decision I knew that she was ready to take the next step in her spiritual journey. As such, I was honored to be a part of this special day in her life. As her uncle and her pastor, I am also extremely thankful to this church, for the role it has played in her faith journey thus far and for the ways in which Custer Road is impacting the lives of so many children including my own.
Missing at the baptism was Reese’s grandmother. “Mussy,” as our kids call her, was in Midlothian to attend to her own mother who is in hospice care nearing the final days of her life.
“Grandma” McCaskill has lived a long life and a lot of it has been happy. She was married to the love of her life until he passed three years ago. She has ten great-grandchildren, six grandchildren and four living children. Her fifth child, a daughter named Terry, died when she was just four years old of Leukemia.
Sunday evening, Jennifer, Taylor and I were able to spend some time with Grandma and some other members of our family. When we walked in she was asleep. I leaned over and whispered, “Hi Grandma. It’s Kory. We just came to tell you we love you.”
And she opened her eyes!
While she wasn’t able to speak, she looked deep into my eyes and those of my daughter’s in a way that said, “I love you, too.” Then she quickly fell back to sleep.
We were all gathered around her bed as she rested comfortably and we reminisced about all the memories we have as a family: things like annual trips to the Gulf Coast and Easter Sundays spent on Grandma and Grandpa’s land in the country. Laughter and tears flowed as you might expect.
Before we left, we all held hands and prayed. We thanked God for the gift she has been in all of our lives and for the assurance that Jesus has prepared a place for her in heaven.
As a pastor, I’ve sat many times at the bedside of those who were dying. These final moments are sacred and tender. They are not easy and are usually most difficult for the loved ones being left behind. This is especially so in cases where the person dying, and/or their family members do not have a relationship with Christ.
But for those of us who have received Christ into our hearts and are walking daily with him, we know that there is life after death. We know that there is a heavenly banquet on the other side of this life. And we know that in an instant we will be reunited with our loved ones as we enter into our eternal rest in the perpetual light of Christ. This knowledge doesn’t stop the grief from coming when a loved one dies, but it helps us keep it in perspective. Our heartache is temporary because our hope is eternal.
As we get closer to celebrating the resurrection, I’d ask you to be in prayer about who in your life is still separated from Jesus. Who can you reach out to with the hope of Christ. Now is the best time to invite them to join you in worship. Perhaps because of you…they will hear the message of Easter and invite Jesus into their heart!
This Sunday, we’ll continue our sermon series “Making a Messiah” and as part of our worship experience and communion time there will be a very special participatory element that you will not soon forget. I promise that this is one week that you will not want to miss being in worship with your church family!
See you Sunday,
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