In the last 48 hours I have done 2 things that very, very few human beings ever get to do in their entire lifetime.

I officiated at a wedding and I officiated at a graveside interment service.

Two major life events for any and every family and as a pastor it is my honor to walk with them.

Weddings are usually on my calendar one year in advance. I usually get about 2-3 days’ advance notice at the most with funerals. I guess that’s the nature of the beasts.

One family celebrates love. The start of a new home. The combining of two very supportive families. The joy of two people willing to vow faithfulness and make a lifelong commitment to each other. Eating. Drinking. Dancing. Laughing.

One family grieves the loss of a very loved wife, mother, grandmother. No more conversations or holiday meals or watching movies together. Only memories. Praying. Crying. Sadness. Loss.

What a stark contrast.

The phrase constantly coming to my mind today is, “In the midst of life we are in death.”“Media vita in morte sumus.” Often attributed to Notker – a Benedictine monk who died in 912 – the sentiment here is simply an acknowledgement of our own mortality and the need to use this life to prepare for the next.

Intellectually we all know we are going to die someday. We know everyone near and dear to us will also die someday. Yet when we lose someone we love it hurts like crazy. Even if we are confident they are in heaven. Even if we are sure we will be reunited with them one day. We know death is as much a part of life experience as is birth, yet the blow is nevertheless devastating.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Fully embrace the hope of the resurrection that is found in Christ and in Him alone. Live your life for him. Love those around you. Don’t take them for granted. Know that Jesus Christ makes all the difference – at whatever life event you and your loved ones gather for.