Today we celebrated the life of my friend’s son who left us far too soon. The sanctuary was packed, the overflow was packed and I don’t think there was any standing room left. Hundreds of people, young and old, who’s lives have been touched by this young man, or by his family. I met him once but really only know his parents. They are a generous, loving, beautiful family and this is not what they ever imagined. But who imagines things like this? Sometimes being human is not fair. The scriptures shared were exactly what we needed to hear. The words given by his sister were funny and touching. The message spoke of his zest for life, his generosity of spirit, joy and love. And we were challenged to share our gifts – our light – with the world in his memory.
But more than all of that beauty was the music. I had to come home and document the playlist so I can listen again and again. I hope you’ll feel the same. (For you golden oldies – click the song titles to listen.)
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
… Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
… Colossians 3:12-14, The Message
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
… Romans 8:35-39, The Message