An Update

Many of you have written asking about my father and I've told you the story of his decline. I am sad to say he passed away on Sunday morning. I am comforted by the kind words of friends and am delighted every time the florist knocks on the door or the postman delivers a card. 

I am sure you can understand that I have not been online much in the last few weeks as caring for him has dominated my time and my thoughts. We went to Ash Wednesday service this evening and afterwards I was able to take a walk around the neighborhood for the first time in weeks. Ash Wednesday gives one much to ponder. There is somehow consolation in hearing the priest say, "Remember O man that you are dust and to dust you shall return," as he imposes ashes on the forehead in the shape of a cross. It is not a proclamation of woe but a call to reflect on our mortality and manner of life. I receive great comfort from the solemnity of the service and beauty of the liturgy. I always do but it seemed especially meaningful this year.

It seems that this is a fitting time of year to die with our mortality remembered, spiritual inventory taken during Lent and then Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection. 

We all suffer sorrow at one time or another but God.... I'll leave it there: but God....

Isaiah 53:1-6

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
  For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
  He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces 
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

  Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (ESV)

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