John 4:19-26

"Sir," the woman said, "you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"

Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on the tis mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming-indeed it's here now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Mark of A Great Life

I went to a funeral yesterday for the grandmother of a great friend, Alex Perry. She passed away, after a long bout with cancer. Funerals are always sad, because they signify the end of a relationship, as we know it. And, they remind us of our own mortality. But they can also bring joy. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true. It all depends on the life you led.

First of all, I want to give Alex a huge compliment. They only asked a few members of the family to speak at the ceremony. Alex was one of them. Now, Alex doesn't speak in front of groups of people regularly, as it is. But there were probably close to four hundred people there. He did an awesome job, speaking on behalf of the family. He shared some personal stories of his grandmother, and I know there wasn't a dry eye in the entire building. So, Alex, great job, bud. I was praying for you, as were many others.

What made me smile, though, was the fact that this lady had led an extraordinary life. And you didn't have to hear anyone's stories to confirm that. All you had to do was look at the many people who were gathered there to remember her. There were people of all ages, each having their own story and memories of a woman who touched their lives in some way. Typically, when an elder person passes away, and you attend the funeral, you tend to see a lot of people in that age group, and then a few stragglers of different ages who are there, either as family, or just to support the family members. That wasn't the case here. Outside of myself and a few others who were there to support our friends who'd lost a love one, the majority of the 400 or so people who were there, knew her. And they loved her. And it spoke volumes about the life she had led. And they were of all ages, from teenagers to people older than she was.

The pastor who led the service was also a great friend of hers. And he reminded all of us that one day, we'd be sitting in a box, just like she was, and that there would be some pastor standing up there talking about us. The question that he asked was, "what will that pastor be able to say about you?" Did you live a life worthy of being remembered? Did you impact the lives of those you came in contact with the way she had?

Alex's grandmother was a devout Christ follower. Therefore, she spent her life trying to tell people about the hope that she carried. She never wasted an opportunity to share her faith with anyone. And the fact that she was a truly humble and generous person, allowed her to speak into the lives of those she came in contact with. I know that when she breathed her last, a few days ago, she saw the face of her saviour moments later. And I'm even more sure that she heard the words that we all hope to hear some day.... "Well done, My good and faithful servant. Come, My Father has prepared a place for you at His table."

We often live like we have forever. The reality is, we don't. Furthermore, we don't know how long we have. I know that's a buzz kill for some of you, but it's the reality of where we are. You could live to be 100, or you could die tomorrow. Are you living the life that you were created to live? When you go, will people say you lived a life worthy of being remembered? And will you find yourself living an eternity in the presence of your Creator? Or will you be found wanting, separated from God and eternal life?

Hard questions, for sure. But they are questions that, someday, we will all answer. I pray that your life will reflect the right ones. If you are someone who doesn't know, and I mean truly know, what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and you have questions, please contact me. You can send me a private email through our church website, if you like. Just click here, and you'll be able to contact me, or one of the other pastors, or elders, at the Journey. Any of us would welcome your inquiry. Or, if you are open to a conversation that you don't mind other people reading, just leave a comment. I'd love to have that conversation with you.

Blessings everyone.

Here are the songs from yesterday's catalyst service:

"God Is Alive" Fee, "Let Me Sing" Todd Fields, "Revelation Song" Gateway Worship, "How He Loves Us" Eddie Kirkland, "Salvation Is Here" Hillsong

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