December 11
Parting is such sweet sorrow
Pastor Mark Jeske

Juliet could barely tear herself away from Romeo. “Good night! Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight, till it be morrow.” Going their separate ways is a great way to heighten anticipation between two lovers. It is also a high stress moment though, because we all know how many things can go wrong before the two might be able to meet again.

Parting involves risk. Love sometimes cools off. Things change. One lover might lose interest or find a better offer or leave town. You might never see each other again. That was the fear in people’s minds as members of the congregation in Ephesus gathered at the harbor to say farewell to their dear apostle Paul. He gave a stirring exhortation to them all to be strong, take care of each other, and stay true to their mission.

Then: “When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship” (Acts 20:36-38). Paul of course meant only that they wouldn’t see him this side of the grave. In heaven comes the Grand Reunion.

You know, it’s one of the most wonderful things about being a Christian—all separations are only temporary.


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