But, really quickly, I wanted to share the praise that is overflowing from my heart today. Three weeks ago, something crazy happened. My brother, my baby brother, went to Las Vegas and got married. Now, for those of you who don't know the background, I will give the brief version, only for the sake of sharing what God has done. Because it is good. My brother is divorced, with two young kids, ages 3 and 5. This has needless to say been a very painful thing for everyone involved, but the divorce has been final for a year, or two??? (My memory fails me tonight). Anyhow, my brother and his kids started coming to church with us... sometime in November or December?? And, shortly thereafter, a "friend" was coming with him, but I would see her there even when my brother couldn't make it. Anyhow, the point is, that the two of them went to Vegas and got married. And, there are so many details, so much left out here, but all you need to know to get where I'm at is... Today, I am in church, standing next to my brother and his wife as they worship Jesus. My brother's heart is more fully turned toward Jesus than it ever has been. And this woman next to him, his wife, is praising Jesus, and they now have three kids (she has a daughter), and they shop at Sam's Club, and they give the kids showers and put them to bed, and they love the Lord. And so a single mom gained a husband, and a single dad gained a wife... and all I can do is cry and weep, and praise the beauty of His name, because He is so good. And even now, the tears are falling, because there aren't enough words to say how good and beautiful and wonderful He is. And the most beautiful thing is that this is not just their story. This is my story, and everyone's story who calls Jesus their Savior. The Jesus Storybook Bible said it this way in our reading tonight (oh, yes, I was crying then too!!):
"'My body is like the bread. It will break,' Jesus told them. 'This cup of wine is like my blood. It will pour out.'
'But this is how God will rescue the whole world. My life will break and God's broken world will mend. My heart will tear apart--and your hearts will heal. Just as the passover lamb died, so now I will die instead of you. My blood will wash away all of your sins. And you'll be clean on the inside--in your hearts.'"
Oh Jesus, you are so good...