When A Great Man Leaves Light…

When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men. Henry Wadsworth Longfello

Meditation: Today is my father’s birthday. He died of cancer before my daughters were born. However, the light of his life shines on in my life and in the life of my children. Every Sunday when I am preaching in German, I think of him. When I grew up, I sat in the pews of the church where my father was pastor for many years. Hundreds of times I listened to him preach. I even volunteered to play the organ as a teenager during funerals, only so I could hear my father’s preaching. He always found such loving and comforting words for those who were in distress and in deep sorrow. And this maybe because he lost his mother when he was only 11 years old, or maybe because God became the unconditional father figure he never had, or maybe because he was just a deeply spiritual, gentle and sensitive soul. My Dad died more than 17 years ago. However, his light is right here with me. When my teenage daughters volunteer to come to church with me (“to support me”, as they say) I feel touched. Even though they don’t understand what I am saying when I preach in German, they follow along by reading the English translation. I remember how formative my Dad was for my spiritual journey. And I can see his light reaching the next generation. His light shines bright on the paths of these young women.

Prayer: Gracious God, for my father’s life and the light of his gentle soul and forgiving spirit I am forever grateful. For his dedication to You and his peace loving ways, I am grateful. For his Spirit shining in my daughters’ personalities, I am grateful. For the gift of preaching every Sunday and following in his footsteps, I am grateful. I believe that my father’s spirit and his loving ways shall never die. Amen

 Jesus said: “And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26