In Touch – December 6, 2013
Posted on December 6, 2013 by under Touché,

O Lord Do Not Tarry

“Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.  (Revelation 22:20-21)

I am in Michigan with Andrew.  This morning he was singing a song from Chapel that started with: “O Lord do not tarry.”  He asked me what tarry meant?  I told him it means to wait.  It is the theme of Advent and the prayer of our devotion today, do not tarry Lord Jesus, come.  It is the last prayer of scripture.

It was the prayer on my lips as I left Hopewell this week.  On Tuesday, I was with Kelly and Nate Fears at Vassar as they had received the news that the two girls they had been longing for and praying for were not alive in the womb. On Tuesday the babies were stillborn and we prayed for the comfort and peace of Christ to be in that room and in lives of all affected by this tragedy.  We knew this was a dangerous pregnancy, but there was so much hope, so many prayers said, and only two days left before delivery. Come, Lord Jesus deliver us from this sadness.

The last prayer of scripture is not the last word of scripture.  The last word is that God’s grace is with all the saints.  And in this last word is the confidence that we have to move through the sadness into the grace that sustains us for the journey.  Kelly’s aunt was at Vassar and she was also present at Sandy Hook elementary on that fateful day almost a year ago.  I asked how she was doing, and she said she has seen so much goodness in the face of the sadness that encourages her on.

I could already see that grace moving into the hospital room Tuesday morning.  The grace of faith that says there is a greater purpose at work than we will ever understand, but we trust.  The grace of prayer, not in getting everything we want, but in understanding that people are praying with us and for us through tragedy and pain. This prayer connects us with God in relationship during our times of greatest sorrow.  And, finally, the grace of community that carries us when we cannot carry ourselves.  I saw that working in Kelly in a strength that was beautiful and in this family as they came together in grief to love and to support each other.

In the face of tragedies we see around us we pray: Lord do not tarry. But in the time that we wait, we need grace to sustain us on the journey.  Let the last prayer and the last word of scripture be our prayer and our word this Advent.



Obituary: Emma and Ellie Fears