When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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Christmas is Just Around the Corner

December 17, 2018

When my sister was a small child of four, she asked our mother how much longer before Christmas would arrive. Mama responded encouragingly by saying, “Oh, it’s just around the corner!”

So, without telling anyone, Beverly walked the half block to the corner of Cranford and Williams street in Valdosta. She stopped and looked both ways around the corners. Christmas wasn’t there. She ran back home, crying into the warm embrace of our mother, who held her and tried to explain what “around the corner” meant.

This past month, Beverly, who had grown to the age of 78 years, looked around the corners of her life, searching for heaven. After years of battling the effects of diabetes, she was ready to leave all her cares behind for this beautiful land where she could be finally healed. I am so happy for her that, when she looked for heaven, heaven found her. There, diabetes is not even a word in her vocabulary. There, all the pain of that horrid disease is not even a memory.

For each of us, heaven is just around the corner. The older we get, the closer our corners seem defined with the hope of something better than what we know here.

I’m not trying to rush things, but as I look around the corners of my life, heaven seems all too sweet. My mother and daddy are there. My husband is there. And, now my sister is there. I am the only one in my immediate family still here. What great joy awaits me around the corner when I get to see my family again.

In the meantime, I love this life I know now. I am greatly blessed. I love living inside my calling to be a pastor. I fall in love with my work anew every morning.

But, when that time comes and the corners of my life here move into the joyous beauty of my life there, listen for my voice. I will be the one shouting “Hallelujah” as I run into the embrace of my loved ones waiting for me in heaven.

And then, the icing on the cake ... “What a day that will be when my Jesus I will see! When I look into the face of Him who saved me by His grace.”

What can I say? Borrowing from a statement I hear often today, “It’s all good!”

The Rev. B.J. Funk is associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald. Email Rev. Funk at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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