It is always difficult to lose a family member, no matter how old and infirm they might be. Moments after arriving back in the UK my daughter sent me a text message that "granddad's not well," and that she would call me when they got home from church. By the time we spoke, her grandfather had passed away.
With all the snow, funeral arrangements have apparently been a challenge as many members of the family will need to travel quite a distance to get down to the "West Country" of England, Cornwall. My children's cousins have lived in Saudia Arabia for a number of years, but are now attending UK universities or working so all the "grandkids" will meet up. Funerals and Weddings as it is said, bring families together.
English funerals are very private affairs, unless you are royalty or well known for some other reason. There is no tradition of simply showing up to pay your respects. Ex-wives are thoroughly NOT welcome at this funeral, and that means that I and my former sister in law, who is still living in Saudia Arabia will not be attending. We had a good skype chat about it today.
Skype is such a gift to global families. You download it for free and then you "telephone" via your laptop (with built in microphone) for free. It is one of the most worthwhile things to sign up for if you are considering moving out of state or overseas and intend to stay in touch with family. It means you can have more than a brief expensive chat. You can really talk. And write each other notes while you are talking; in our case, updating the kids contact details.
As the family prepares to fly in/drive/travel via train etc to remember a man who was a great challenge to family life and someone who spent much energy on mocking Christians, it is my hope that we all remember that we never know if someone called on the Father of us all, in Jesus's name at the last minute. What we do know is that God is gracious and if He remembered our transgressions, who would stand?
Celebrate Religeous Freedom Day on the 16th of January!
May you have a blessed weekend and remember to have a Sabbath Rest! Good Lord willing, see you Monday.