I look around at all our grandchildren during this Christmas time, and I'm amazed at how the family keeps growing. We are so blessed by God's love.
We have new babies, not just in our immediate family, but also in the extended family. My niece's little boy Finn, who was ill before Christmas with RSV, came home from the hospital in time for Christmas.
My nephew and his wife are expecting a baby in April. What joy! And yet, along with the joy there is heartache. The baby's great-grandfather won't be here to see him.
My sister called yesterday to let us know that her father-in-law, Jim, died. Some of you have prayed for him and his family, and for that I thank you. Jim was a wonderful man, a coach who was always so vital and healthy. His family has watched his health deteriorate over the past few years after a long battle with cancer.
Even when we've had time to prepare ourselves for their deaths, it is hard to lose a parent. I pray that Mike and his family will be comforted, knowing God's mercy. As in life, we are blessed by God's love when we die.
Eternal rest grant unto Jim E, O Lord,
And let perpetual Light shine upon him.
May his soul
and the souls of all the faithful departed
Through the mercy of God
Rest in peace.