The Circle of Life – Loving Celebrations AND Loving Memories

As a Community Pastor I often walk with people in the “thin places” of life. The joy of love and marriage, the grief of a death and loss, the potential in the birth of a child —also spiritual beginnings, transformation and breakthroughs.

And repeatedly I am awestruck at the presence of God. The Moses account of the burning bush in Exodus 3,  …take off your shoes for you are on holy ground” — I can relate!

Thin places are defined as places of energy. A place where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. A thin place is where one can walk in two worlds – the worlds are fused together, knitted loosely…where the two worlds become one.

When couples invite their families and friends to witness the sharing of vows, the exchanging of rings and that epic kiss 🙂 — this is a thin place, a place in which the miracle of marital love is experienced!

If you follow my Loving Celebrations social media accounts you no doubt see lots of wedding pictures. In fact seventy-eight times last year in varied settings from lofty cathedrals, to Texas barns, and outdoors in the beauty of creation, I was blessed to have a front row seat as couples became husband and wife. I never tire of it!

And yet — there is another side of life and ministry. What you may not know and what rarely makes social media, is that this past year I presided at forty funeral services. 

Loving Memories is our ministry to the bereaved. Our approach is that “every life tells a story” and each friend or loved one deserves a well told story. These “Celebration of Life” gatherings provide another type of thin place, one in which we reflect, and support, and shed tears, and grapple with our mortality. And we cling to The Apostle’s words, “…that we do not grieve as those who have no hope.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Predating the movie Lion King’s  “circle of life” message, wise King Solomon wrote, To every thing there is a season…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance… ~ Ecclesiastes 3

I am always mindful in these thin places of the beauty and brevity of life — and the sacred honor it is as a Community Pastor to walk with others durning these times. 

Live humbly and kind,

Jim

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