This weekend I enjoyed the traditions of the season: I got together with friends at their annual picnic event. I also got some special personal work done: I purchased my first kayak ever! I joined you in worship and many of you in planting geraniums around the church in honor of those we have loved and lost.
I have continued to remember and treasure those I have loved and lost. There is a strong tradition of service in our armed forces on all sides of my family. My dad in the Marines, his brother and father in the Navy. My mother's dad a civilian lifer for the Navy. My late wife Robin's dad in the Air Force, his dad in the Army, and Robin's mother's dad in the Army.
May has become a remembering month in my life. Two years ago my father died on 19 May and Robin died on 26 May, both from cancer, one thirty years of slow growth and the other three months of rapid growth. Many of you have offered special prayers for me and my family over the past couple weeks. Thank you.
Robin and I always believed that life is for living, that joy is ours for the choosing, that the oneness we share is ours forever. Living the life God has given us means that we are always moving into God's future, a future shaped by hope and joy. Choosing the joy that is ours means that we look for and celebrate the gifts, large and small, of each day and moment - even though our lives may be colored by profound grief as well. Sharing our oneness means that the promise of resurrection structures hope for the interim, means that we can be present as pure gift even beyond death.
I pray for you as well, always praying with joy for our partnership, with groans for our pains. The future we have is full of hope and promise!