Beloved of God, God assures and comforts me in the synchronicity of events. Today history and the present overlapped in a synchronistic moment whose mounting significance cannot be denied! Twenty-eight years ago today my mother entered eternal life at the age of 53. I was thirty, my sister was 28 and my brother was 25 (he would turn 26 later that year on September 11). Her death occurred on a Sunday…… shortly after church…….my guess is around 12:17 PM. On August 25, 2013, at that precise time I was singing with the St. Athanasius congregation the Sanctus which includes: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Matthew 21:9)……..” the very same words chanted by the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover as they laid their cloaks on the street in front of the donkey bearing Jesus. I thought of my mom shaking off the dust of this life and entering the embrace of her waiting Savior August 25, 1985 and at the same time pictured my sister, in August of 2013, clad in the armor of God lovingly designed specifically for her bearing our mother’s crest on the shield of faith that she carries in her left hand………bowing her head in prayer before going behind enemy lines of CANCER on a mission for her King. I hear my mom singing the first line of Hymn 304 that we sang earlier in the service today:
Words: Brian A. Wren / Music:
Land of Rest, American folk melody: I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved, and free, in awe and wonder to recall His life laid down for me.
Note what my mother wrote as a prayer given to me prior to a board meeting 9-7-12……the first board meeting that year that I had any hint of confidence in the direction I would begin to lead the Fraser Center Ministry:
“Give your body to God as a living sacrifice (holy). Is it too much when you think of what He has done for you? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think! (Based on Romans 12: 1 & 2)
In my vision…….as I sang the Sanctus in 2013, my mom was singing the first verse of Hymn 304 in 1985 and my sister in Texas was singing the first verse of our closing Hymn 359:
Words: Dennis Wortman
God of the prophets, bless the prophet’s heirs! Elijah’s mantle o’er Elisha cast:
Each age for thine own solemn task prepares, make each one stronger, nobler than the last.
Immediately following the service the junior warden of St. Athanasius Church stated that our scripture meditation for the day was……. Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and mother that your days may be long on the earth……..and then concluded with the announcements.
As I drove home from church, the clouds in front of my car formed the majestic breastplate I believe my sister will soon wear as one part of her armor as she enters into battle for the Kingdom of Love. (My sister told me two nights ago that God was preparing a beautiful breastplate for her to wear on the mission He was calling her to this year. I have asked her to write down what God gave her in her spirit that night which I will share in a later version of my Breath of God).
Graham Cooke wrote in His Soaking Prayer Series: Becoming the Beloved……..written as if God were speaking directly to the reader: I love My People to be overawed so that all their circumstances can be subdued by majesty. I love to inhabit anything unfavorable, and to create at the same time a powerful sense of astonishment.
Visiting deacon, Becky Rowell, who we are honoring today for her Ministry of Presence with our congregation this summer closed out the formal part of the service with a quote from her own sermon:
It’s not about you and it’s not about me…..It’s all about Jesus!
One other synchronicity I must mention. Last night I read the call of Jeremiah to my sister after we had discussed her calling and mission in the malignancy she faces. I told her to hear the words from God spoken directly to her: Jeremiah 1: 4 & 5 The Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Below is the front of today’s bulletin. My dear sister, Gwynn, let me assure you that your mission has been confirmed! Nothing about what you have shared with me the past two days is a figment of your imagination.