Recently, I have reflected on the weddings I have officiated and attended over the past 30+ years. Such joyous memories of young love waiting to experience the journey called marriage. As I reminisced, laughter filled my heart. Yet out of late, I have officiated and attended more funerals than weddings.
A few of the questions posed my mind, "Why the change in events?" "Am I getting older and is this the natural progression?" "Are loved ones dying earlier?" Although I did not have a firm conclusion, I did come to an epiphany. Now, realize this is from my perspective, but funerals are so much more meaningful. I am not saying I don't enjoy weddings; I do look forward to those celebrations. However, when I officiate a funeral, hearts are wounded, grieved and in need of our Savior's love, embrace and healing comfort.
A funeral is the outward conclusion to our life here on earth - it is filled with the memories of a wedding, births, celebrations, challenges and struggles. It is a normal circle that is meeting its end - which causes one to examine their own life. Is this all there is to life? I do wonder, if these were any of the thoughts of the two Mary’s and Salome?
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.” Mark 16:1-8
City Impact’s staff walk daily with children, youth and families through times of difficulties, pain and hardships – it is the most incredible blessing to share that there is a hope. A hope that is not based on their ability, personality or income. It is founded on that fact that Jesus loved each and every one of us so much that he paid the ultimate price so hope can become our reality.
Friends, that is exactly why City Impact exists – to share Christ’s reality of HOPE. This Easter, will you consider giving a sacrificial gift to help us continue sharing that special message? Blessings to you this Easter.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham