03 December 2008

Tonight we attended the memorial service of Cameron Beau Scherrer. He came early and was very sick, but God blessed his family and this earth with nearly eight days of life with him.

Inevitably, the service was a stark reminder to us of the memorial service we had for our own sweet baby girl not eight months ago. We can clearly remember what is was like to be those parents in that front pew. And so, many of the readings and hymns we sang this evening were great reminders and comforts to Ryan and I of our Savior's great, great sovereignty and love for us.

One of the songs we sang was this portion of St. Patrick's Breastplate:

"Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me;
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger"

I love and am so comforted by this beautiful picture of being surrounded by Jesus Christ on every side.

Romans 8:17-18 says,
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God"


As we were putting up our Christmas decorations last week we listened to the annual Christmas cd that Ryan had assembled for our family. I don't think it had occurred to me how difficult it would be to do what any other year is an exciting family event. As Ryan brought in from the garage the first boxes of ornaments, he stopped me while I was holding Oliver, and slow-danced with us to the Christmas hymn that was playing. Then, he just held us (well,mostly me, since Oliver is mister-wiggle-pants) acknowledging that this was going to be a bittersweet evening.

Then it came time to hang the stockings on the mantle. I think this may have been the most difficult part of all. As I put the picture frame stocking holders on the ledge, one for Ryan, me, Oliver and Scout, I remembered that last year I was pregnant and we had excitedly talked about how next year Scout would get the boot because New Baby Myers was going to inherit Scout's stocking and photo frame.

In order to go on with the evening I proceeded somewhat mechanically for a while, pressing on, not wanting my sadness and disappointment to overshadow the festive evening. But, as I began to pull ornaments out of the boxes, a lovely version of "O, Holy Night" filled the room. I was struck by a line I'd never paid much attention to before:

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices."

Probably the word "weary" caught my attention because I have known weary in a whole new way this year. But, if it's sadness and weariness that I'm feeling, then the Hope of Christmas was exactly what I needed to hear. Matthew 5 says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted". God's comfort came to me that evening last week, because His great Comforter came more than 2000 years ago on that holy night:

"O holy nght! The stars are brightly shining.

It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

'Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born.

O holy night -O night -O night divine!"

Friends, in our grief, in our disbelief, in our weariness, as well as in our joys, I want to encourage you tonight that there is Hope! Thanks be to God!


Tracy said...

Rae- I am so comforted to know that I was not alone in the bittersweetness of putting up the Christmas decorations.

Last year when I was pregnant, I bought an additional stocker holder because I was sure that by this time we'd have a new stocking to hang. It was unbelievably sad to unwrap that stocking holder only to wrap it back up and put it back in the box.

Anyway- your post encouraged me, and also gave me a realease from the lonliness I sometimes feel in my grief.

Lizzie said...

I have been thinking of your family a lot this holiday. Know that me and Audrey are constantly praying for you.
Love you

Christine said...

You chose a beautiful song to illustrate your thoughts and beliefs. Well done. A little off topic, but I am sure you are with me in believing that Harry's version of "O Holy Night" is perhaps the best one out there. (We groove to his old Christmas CD a lot.)