Shared History

Life Notes—May 6, 2010 

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”  John 14:27 

There is something special about relationships with those to whom we are intimately intertwined.  Usually there is something especially good, although in some sad circumstances, especially bad.  Whether it is a parent, spouse, sibling, child or a BFF (that is ‘Best Friend Forever,’ for those of you not hip to texting lingo), interactions with those we are tied to have a quality not found in more casual relationships.  I remember well the love-hate relationship with my siblings.  I was the oldest and had to put up with many years of immaturity and interference from my sister and two brothers.  Sometimes, I longed to trade places with friends who seemed to have a calmer home life.  But then there were the many good times and the shared history that bound my family together.  Today, I wouldn’t trade those relationships and memories for anything or anyone. 

In the passage above, Jesus knows his days on earth are nearing the end.  He has built close relationships with his followers that will make his parting even tougher, both for them and for him.  The final days of his ministry were filled with preparations for the lives continuing on earth beyond his, including preparations and instructions for us today.  Some of his words are not unlike those we might hear from a loved one near death, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”  Sometimes, one near death understands their passing represents a new beginning for them, but are also keenly aware of the pain and grief they will leave behind.  When we have a shared history, parting is never easy.  And the longer and more intimate the history, the harder the parting. 

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, when we celebrate not just our biological moms, but also those who have provided vital maternal nurturing in other ways.  Grandma Hildenbrand comes to mind.  I was honored to share her final hours.  Although I do not remember her exact words, they were along the lines of those of Jesus, quoted above, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.”  Shared history.  Intimate weavings creating the beautiful tapestry of shared life.  It gives in a way the rest of the world simply cannot give.  That’s the relationship Jesus invites us to—with him, and with each other. 

Tom continues his “Simply Christian” series with, “Peace of Heart,” based on the scripture John 14:15-27.  Life (Living in Faith Everyday) worship begins at 10:45 in Brady hall.  Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Contemporary worship at the west campus begins at 9:30. 

Come home to worship this Sunday.  Become a part of the tapestry that is First Church.

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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