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Daily Devotional for October 8


October 8                                                        Luke 7:11-17

Twenty-nine white balloons, one for each year of Jeff's life,
rose into the azure sky over Florida. As mourners watched
below, a gentle autumn breeze tossed the balloons, and they
clustered, forming what appeared to be a solo cloud in the
clear sky.

Those who loved Jeff, and they were many, stared upward
until the soaring balloons became specks and finally disap-
peared altogether. The balloons, lifted into the heavens beyond
the grasp of mortals, served to remind those who grieved that
Jeff's soul, too, had risen.

A gentle man reared in the rolling hills of Tennessee, Jeff stood
more than six feet tall, but he possessed a boyish innocence
that made him seem younger than twenty-nine. Even during
his last days, when AIDS had ravaged his body, he retained
his tender charm. The lesions that disfigured Jeff's face couldn't
touch the beauty of his soul. And it was his soul that rose.

In today's passage, Jesus tells the widow's dead son to rise,
and the youth does, claiming a new life. We marvel at this
beautiful and miraculous story of Christ's power and mercy.
We long for the same merciful power to retrieve our loved
ones from pending death.

Yet, that power does retrieve them. The story is no less
beautiful nor miraculous when our loved ones answer Christ's
command to rise to a new life in glory.

We can assume that the young man in today's Scripture even-
tually died again. Perhaps he lived a good many years and did
a good many wonderful things, but eventually his mortal life
came to an end.

How good it is to know that our loved ones, like Jeff, only
have to die once. As Christians, their new lives are eternal.

   Blessed Saviour, show mercy to us when we mourn.
            Remind us that while bodies are fragile,
                     souls endure forever. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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