We are groaning this morning.
Some of us in this place have the deep groans of hurting bodies.
Many of us have the deep groans of hurting minds, as we do not understand.
Many of us have the deep groans of hurting hearts, as we miss those who have died this week.
We could say “passed on” or “gone to you, Jesus” or “received their earthly reward”, but from our perspective, God, with hearts wounded and broken, they died.
In Texas and Vancouver and Atlanta and Fort Wayne, people who know you have watched the death of the ones they love and they groan.
God, we know there will be glory, but the sufferings of this present time feel great.
God, we cry out to you today, saying “Father” with the quiet desperation of those who know you know our loss but who still need your presence.
God, we cry out today for those who are feeling a loss deeper than ours, for whom we can do little but speak to you.
God, we ask you to give us an awareness today of the hope that can sustain us, a glimpse of understanding of the redemption of our bodies.
Remind us today that you are Immanuel, with us now in our groaning and delight, with us always for your glory.
Give our friends who grieve your peace.
Give our friends who grieve, us.
We ask through Christ our Lord.
Reflecting Romans 8, one of the texts for today.
On Friday, Laurie Reese died in Texas, Gerald Ringenberg died in Fort Wayne, J.I. Packer died in Vancouver, John Lewis died in Atlanta. Different circles, different numbers of followers and books. But we can’t let that confuse us. Same Jesus, same faithfulness to their callings.