Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Monday, October 22, 2018

Elizabeth McLain Humes

Elizabeth McLain Humes
October 22, 2018
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 23
Revelation 21:2-7
John 14:1-6

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Unlike nearly everyone in this room, I did not know Betsy Humes.  I’m sure you all have lots of stories and memories to share, and I hope you have already been doing that, and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.  And thank you to Billy for the stories he shared with us this morning.

It’s never easy to lose someone we love.  A mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother.  Someone who has been there our entire lives is no longer with us.  No longer seen or heard from.  And the emptiness can be overwhelming.  Someone who was in our lives forever is no longer here, which makes everything seem fleeting.  But that is not true.  Not for God, and not for those who live their lives as part of the Church of God on earth.  Because there is continuity in the changelessness of God.

I know that Elizabeth and William were married at this very Altar by the Rector who was here four priests before I arrived.  I’ve seen the pictures!  That’s a long time ago, and much has happened in our lives and in the world since that time.   So long ago, in fact, that no one batted an eye as Bill lit up a cigarette on the front steps out there.  From our perspective, that wedding was ages ago.  But from God’s perspective, it just happened, and the reception is still going full swing.  And the difference between our sense of time and God’s perspective can really help sometimes.

And here is what I mean by that:  There are things that we are waiting for which are already accomplished for God.  As we heard from the prophet Isaiah, “God will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.”  And as we heard from the Revelation to St. John, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”  And because Jesus is the beginning and the end, everything that happens to us happens within the arms of Jesus.

You and I are still waiting for the day when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and will swallow up death forever.  But for Betsy, that day has already come.  She is safely within the arms of God, which is where she has always been.  Because in Betsy’s baptism, she was claimed as God’s own forever.  And nothing can ever take that away from her.  Betsy is with God, and God is with you.  And one day, you will be together again.


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