I'll post pictures and more comments about this tomorrow.
But for my family this will also be a remembrance day of sorts. It's been one year since my grandfather passed away. I actually got the call at our Reformation dinner last year. It's been a tough year for my mom and grandmother. I don't know if next year will be any easier, but I know right now is especially hard for them.
I miss him too. He was always fun, had a great sense of humor. He could make jokes about his bald head all day. He loved to talk to all the grandkids, play card games all evening. He was a carpenter by trade, and knew how to build anything.
One of the things I've been thinking about today was his voice. He had a very raspy voice, or rather, what was left of his voice. Throat cancer and resultant surgeries had done permanent damage to his vocal chords. I don't really remember his singing voice before this, but I know afterward, it was hard for him to sing, but he loved doing it. He loved hymns.
So today, as we celebrate the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us, I'll be thinking of my Granddad, singing for the past year before the throne of God. I hope he has the voice he wished he'd had here on earth. Because while on earth he could wholeheartedly sing:
Come thou fount of ev'ry blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of God's unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I've come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wand'ring from the fold of God:
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be;
let that grace now, like a fetter,
bind my wand'ring heart to thee.
Prone to wander - Lord, I feel it -
prone to leave the God I love:
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Robert Robinson, 1758