2016: Page 361

Page 361 was a Monday and the “official” Christmas holiday day, so I took the day off — sort of. 🙂  The Lemler family Christmas with my parents and my siblings and their families has traditionally been the day after Christmas for a lot of years, so today was the day we gathered together as a family to celebrate Christmas.  My morning began by checking email and social media messages as I caught up on Christmas greetings and news from friends both far and near.  I also gathered up all the parts of my ice cream freezer and pulled out the recipe to see what I had and what I still needed to get so we could enjoy home made ice cream as part of our family gathering.  I’ve thought at various times over the past week about the supplies I would need to pick up to make ice cream today and each time I would picture my niece at various ages coming out to see if the ice cream was ready yet.  As with many of my nieces and nephews, she shared the Lemler love for ice cream and was very persistent in making sure she didn’t miss out.  As I gathered the supplies together this morning, a short poem showed up in my mind that was worded as a letter to her in heaven.  

Merry Christmas up in heaven,
I pray that you can see.
How much you’re missed and dearly loved,
by friends and family.
And while you’re gone, we carry on
as best as we know how.
Some days are good, some days so-so,
some days the tears flow now.
So as we gather here today,
it won’t be quite the same.
We’ll love and laugh and share a tear,
and I’ll eat ice cream in your name!
So, Merry Christmas dearest Bre,
please help us find our way.
To live for Christ and make you smile,
‘til we join with you someday!

Merry Christmas with much love,
(and no, the ice cream isn’t ready yet 🙂 )
Uncle Tom

After the family gathering, I came home and worked on my normal Monday morning project — next week’s prayer guide.  That also meant that I did some more work on the sermon for New Year’s Day as I’ve chosen to use the prayer guide as follow-up to the sermon.  So, while it was mostly a day off, I didn’t avoid “work” completely 🙂

Today’s photo is one I took a few days ago and it seemed fitting considering all of the feasting that has been taking place over the past few days.  On the day I took this photo, the brush was filled with birds feasting on the red berries.  I caught this robin with a beak full about to enjoy its next bite.  I thought about how food often brings people together to share whatever life experiences are current.  Whether it is grieving together at a funeral dinner, celebrating at a wedding reception, or rejoicing over a Christmas feast, sharing a meal has a way of helping us to share life.  As that thought ran through my mind, I considered how Jesus shared a meal with His disciples many times but as His task on earth was coming to an end, He eagerly desired to eat a final Passover meal with them.  The night Jesus was betrayed and taken off to face the authorities who would crucify Him, He gathered around a table with His disciples for a  meal together.  It was during this meal, this Last Supper, that He laid the groundwork for our remembrance of Him whenever we eat of the elements of a communion service — sharing in His body and blood.  It is through the sharing in His death that we are also able to share in His resurrection and have the confidence of life eternal with Him in heaven.

I pray that you and I would pay attention to a God that longs to be in communication and communion with us.  I pray that we would not only share in the feast of the Lord’s Supper, but that we would know the fellowship that can be had with one another during a meal.  I pray that we would live in a way that makes our loved ones in heaven smile.  I pray that we would share in the death of Christ in a way that prepares us to share in His resurrection.