I was stunned when I looked at my phone this morning, a friend had died early in the morning over in the Heartland.
Ron was just a few years older than I. His health had not been good since I had known him. Walking around was hard for him as he struggled to breathe. But even in his struggles, he always remembered our last conversation and would ask me how my knee was feeling, how my Redskins were doing, and if I was encouraged. We would talk about about our common background in the grocery business and the 70s and about what we were thankful for and what we were struggling with.
He was most thankful for and loved to talk about his family in Szeged. He was so proud of his son Kyle, his daughter-in-law, Odi, and his two grand-daughters. Those two little girls brought him incredible joy. In talking to his son Kyle this morning, we reflected on Ron’s testimony, he had the faith of a child. That’s what Jesus told us we needed, isn’t it.
His son told me that Ron was at church yesterday morning and at a special Christmas gathering last night, I know that this would have brought Ron joy because he loved being at church and, especially hearing Kyle’s teaching, a proud dad he was. In faith, I remember his testimony of trusting in Jesus and believing in God’s mercy. Ron and I would pray together, praying the Lord’s Prayer from the King James as men of our generation remembered it from long ago.
I believe that when Ron left his earthly body, he was present with the Lord. Perhaps he is singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” right now. May God have mercy on his soul. May God bring comfort to all who loved him as a dad, father-in-law, grand-father, brother and friend. I am glad to have been his friend and look forward to seeing him in the presence of the Lord.
May the joy of the Lord make us even more grateful for Christmas today, realizing that we CAN have hope because without the Incarnation there is no salvation. And we have the hope of salvation because of the baby-King whose birth we celebrate.
Here’s how we would pray:
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Thanks be to God for the joy that He gives, even in the midst of sadness and loss. That joy from God is how we can rejoice in all things. Especially today.