Friday, August 31, 2007

A Sojourner's Birthday

Today is a day of contemplation. Why? A good friend is turning 50.

We've been through a lot as brothers in our common village and church community and I really can't let the event pass without speaking gratitude into his life.

We've watched our kids grow up together. He and his wife were at the birth of each of our three boys and we have taken part in the lives of their kids, too. And against the consumeristic tide of our day, we have persevered to serve in a community called the church (the same local body) for more than 22 years.

He was there when I met my wife. He was there when we married. He was there when we struggled financially and with broken health. He was there in the ongoing process of restoration in Christ. Truly, he is a friend. You know, it may not take a village but it certainly is good to be a part of one- and even better to have a friend.

So, what follows is an excerpt from birthday wishes to him.

Dearest Brother, with the Psalmist, we can say, "I am a sojourner on the earth." And, this is increasingly recognizable as we progress, live, labor, and love. In fact, we’re getting older. We know this and it is a good thing.

God has crafted us for communion with Himself and to take our place in the progression of His story-His work of redeeming, restoring, and blessing His creation.
We are, in fact, partakers at his invitation and at His expense, in the eternal fellowship of the Trinity. Wow!

As a fellow laborer, partaker of life in Christ, and friend, I have to tell you that you are blessing and great encouragement to me. Please know that I genuinely delight in knowing you – my brother.

From another sojourner with a place in God’s redemptive history, we read:
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! (Moses; Psalm 90: 12; 14-17; ESV)
Blessings and peace and ....

Happy Birthday.

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