This morning we attended the memorial service of a friend and fellow church member. He passed away from a unexpected heart attack last week in the middle of doing a routine, every day task. Survived by his wife and four young children.

As we’ve been processing and sharing in the grief of his family the song Welcome to Our World, by Chris Rice has been floating through my mind.

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Hope that you don’t mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home
Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
World now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for them
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born….

This song was written to be a Christmas song but it seems to be a bit fitting for this week too.  As we are walking along side of our friends as they are processing the lose of a husband and friend.  We are told that joy follows mourning for those who’s trust is in God.  And it’s true, a faith in God can (and should) keep a grief from traveling into despair.  But having faith doesn’t take the tears and emotions of grief away, there is still a void where a friend once stood. His family is thrust into life without him.  Having faith doesn’t change the fact that they (and we as a church) now have a heavy sorrow to bear.  It’s now a part of life in a way it wasn’t before and nothing can change that.  Even when it seems better it only takes one memory, one reminder to make the loss seem fresh.  But even in the ugly crying moments where we just hurt there is light. This is faith coming to bear in the midst of grief. It’s a light from God that ushers in hope that this sorrow will not our undoing.  Christ has been promised. That promise has been fulfilled. So we wait, we trust in the promises that God has made, we grieve with the family, we care for them and hold them by turn. And we pray with open arms, welcoming God our Father to our new world of grief, waiting for him to come, to work, to heal, to strengthen, to accomplish his will in this season.
…(cont.) So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world
Welcome To Our World lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.