Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weddings and Funerals and Life

Several years ago when Mary and I first started dating, her friends used to tease her about dating a pastor. It seemed that I was most always doing either a funeral or a wedding. So, Mary's friends asked where I was sometimes by saying: "Well, is he at a Wedding or a deathening..."

That's life isn't; at least that's life in part. We measure our lives by those big events. We can add a few other events that make our lives what they are. Birth (though we don't remember), but everybody in the family remembers, every birthday, we celebrate. When you were born, someone couldn't wait to hold you and change your diaper. Baptism is one of those events of our lives, whether we're a baby or an adult. The first you ever went to school. I remember that day to this day. Moving from elementary to middle school is a time to remember. Then, going from Middle School to High School is a time that we remember.

High School graduation is a big day for most of us. We make a big deal out of it here at Bethel. It's a special time. It's a big achievement. And, of course, if we go to college, that's big, too.

A wedding brings all kinds of things together in our lives. Sometimes a divorce brings trauma that lasts for years. And, as I said earlier, the deaths and funerals that we deal with throughout our lives. My Uncle Graham died when I was a little boy, but I remember it well. It was my first experience with death involving someone close.

Maybe that's why John's Gospel tells the story of Jesus at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. When they run out of wine in Cana, Jesus makes new wine. They all say to the host: "Most people serve the good wine first, then the cheap stuff when everyone is drunk, but you have saved the best until now." It was a way of saying that God had given the law first and it was very good, but now God has given us grace. He has saved the best until now. The best, of oourse, is Jesus.

The church worships at all of these times of change in our lives. Jesus comes to weddings and funerals. Jesus is present to us in the ordinary things of our life.

No one knows what 2010 will hold for you, what experiences of life you will go through. But, in the midst of whatever happens, our God is there as steady as a rock pouring himself out still for us. He is the reason for the joy at the party.

Look around with eyes of faith and you'll see him standing over there with his mother...

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee
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