There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-5)
On Sunday evening we are gathering at South Street Arts Centre which is the venue for our new meeting / congregation. In faith we are striking out into the town centre, believing God will use it for His glory. I am so expectant of great things from this faith venture.
At the same time, my dear friends are confronting the final enemy (1Cor15v26). "Karena is facing death square on and is confident in the goodness of God, and that her place in glory is secure through Christ's death for her" (read Craigs latest blog here). As I sat with him yesterday in the hospice, the reality of mourning deeply for her was again sharply in focus. There is very little that is good about physical death.
In the wisdom of God, we are in a time of 'overlapping times'. Exciting new faith ventures alongside the prospect of the death of a beloved wife, mother & friend. Personally, I am retreating into time alone with God in order to be able to love and serve His people during this season (and process my emotions). I thank God for calling me to help pastor Reading Family Church and also to be a true friend to the Crazy Mackays.
I know very little Greek, but one phrase has stuck with me 'allos parakletos'. This means 'of the same type of councillor/advocate'. Jesus used this phrase when talking about the Holy Spirit (John 14v16). In this time of 'overlapping times' we have the Holy Spirit who draws alongside us to comfort and equip us for seasons of life.
'Spirit of Jesus, fill me afresh, renew my emotions, give me the love & wisdom for this season. Keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and remind me of the things He said. Holy Spirit, overshadow my dear friends the Mackays and annoit us at RFC to proclaim Jesus to our town. Amen'