12 December 2019
Its always hard saying good bye [God be with you] to those going away.
This month Nathan’s internship comes to an end — and a beginning. We will say good bye on Dec 1st and celebrate his licensing at St Johns in December. We will also have Tani Huanga with us on Dec 1st and we are glad that her internship has led to her licensing on Dec 4th at St Andrews and she will be ordained and inducted to the Parish of Mt Albert is on December 11th.
You have all been part of their formation as ministers of the Presbyterian church.
At the same time we will welcome Thomas Kauie as our intern for one year. So another new beginning opens up and our task continues.
Endings and beginnings are much harder when it comes to facing the deaths of friends and family. I am aware that over the last year so many dear people have left us. For those left behind it is difficult to see the new beginnings as we give thanks for their lives. But even in the middle of grief there is the hope of new life, and love which lasts beyond death itself.
Gradually we start to look up, our world changed forever, and find we are not abandoned, there is more work to do and more loving to give and receive. We find that God is far bigger than we had imagined.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote
“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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