From left to right: Nyia, Anya, Beyza, Kysi, Clea, and Leif
Last Sunday, after the church building had emptied itself of the Easter hubbub, I drove up to my father-in-law Harry's house in Northfield to join in on the hubbub of another type: the introduction of three beautiful little girl-cousins to their great-grandfather and to each other. As many of you already know, my father-in-law suffered a traumatic brain injury last December 21st, and since then requires 24/7 care from his five children. What a joy it was to once again see the big wide smile that Harry is known for as he watched his three great-grandchildren play on the front lawn! And what a joy it was for the parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles to watch the three wee-ones check each other out--at first, hesitantly--and then, playfully-as they frolicked among the spring flowers!
As I recall this day with my extended family, I am reminded of Psalm 133, in that it refers to the blessing of family. Though the psalm, sung by groups of pilgrims as they journeyed toward Jerusalem for a yearly Hebrew festival, refers to 'families' as the 12 tribes of Israel, I can't help but equate it with the blessings of new life bestowed on my own wonderful family. For like the abundance of expensive oil anointing Aaron's head and cold mountain streams offering refreshment to the residents of Jerusalem, my family has experienced an abundance of blessing, poured out as streams of hope and love, in the lives of these three beautiful little girls, making it a bit easier to prepare ourselves for that day when great-grandpa Harry's big wide smile will no longer light the room.
The blessing of everlasting life made visible in love on Easter Sunday, 2021. Praise be to the One who brings new life out of death!
Look at how good and pleasing it is
when families live together as one!
It is like expensive oil poured over the head,
running down onto the beard--
which extended over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew on Mount Hermon
streaming down onto the mountains of Zion,
because it is there that the Lord has commanded the blessing: