Susan and I missed you all last weekend when we were away for Kay's funeral. Many thanks to Larry for ably filling the pulpit. About 600 people attended the funeral, filling the sanctuary to capacity as well as the Carney Center that was set up for a simulcast, both had standing room only. The invited retired pastor of the eponymously named fellowship hall was able to wow us with many stories of Kay from her confirmation, youth group years, and wedding, all of which he experienced during his 30+ year tenure. He helped us to laugh in the face of a tragic death.
During her 53 years, Kay touched many lives, both in the community she grew up in and in the rural community public school where she taught first grade for over 30 years, often being named teacher of the year. Her family has deep roots and owns one of the largest businesses in the area. Susan and her sisters knew Kay from early childhood - she was like a sister even before their step-brother made her a sister-in-law.
Going to the funeral was uplifting, fulfilling, and joyful in the midst of grief and loss. We saw extended family, old friends, and delighted in sharing stories with each other. This is what I hope for in Heaven.
As we enter into the final days of Jesus' ministry with the triumph of Palm Sunday and the suffering of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we can see, through the hazy blurry eyes of pain and loss, a glimpse of our resurrection and place in Heaven to be uplifting, fulfilling, and joyful. God, comfort all those who are grieving losses and give us the hope of eternal life in Christ. AMEN.