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Sunday, 21 June 2015

The last time...until

Sometimes the last time for being somewhere, doing something or even seeing someone just sneaks up on you. You are blissfully unaware of the possible poignancy of a moment in time and so you sail on through unaware, only in retrospect appreciating its significance.

Other times, though, the final moment, the final time is agonisingly anticipated. It can be paralysing and suck the colour out of life as the moment approaches inexorably. Such is the agony of a deathbed watch. Or of watching a love shrivel and die. Or of a pending separation over huge geographical distances.

Jesus shows us how to live in the moments of greatest poignancy and approaching separation. On the night before he died, he told his friends many things, but perhaps one of the most significant was contained in one little five-letter word. Until.

I will not taste of the vine again until I sit down at the feast in the Kingdom.

He was telling his friends about his approaching death and then tied that horror into the festive meal they were sharing and giving it eternal significance. His friends didn't really get it. They didn't get it until he sent the Holy Spirit a few weeks later to help them understand.

For me, right now, approaching a 'never again' moment as we prepare to move my mom from the home I have known since I was 1 year old, a home immersed in memories of joy and laughter and love, I am holding on to the word until. The home itself signifies times which can never be repeated, and yet they will be repeated in our eternal home, which will be at once familiar, the best place of all our lives, and yet different because it will be even better.

We will not pass this way again until...

What a comfort Jesus must have taken from that ray of light and hope and expectation in the middle of the darkest night.

What comfort I take from the fact that in this, as in everything, Jesus has passed this way before with hope, expectation, faith and grace, and with his help, relying on his love and trusting in his promises, so can I.

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