She first came to our church a year ago (or maybe two – you know how time flies). I don’t know what brought her in, but I do know that she was a special gift to us. Now she’s leaving – moving to another state. I expect the Kingdom of God to be blessed by her presence there. Passing through, passing through. Sometimes happy, sometimes blue, Glad that I ran into you. Tell the people that you saw me passing through. (Dick Blakeslee, 1948)
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one. … For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3.6-9)
We went to a high school class reunion this summer – saw people we had now seen in nearly 50 years. The event brought back many memories, but not just of high school. My mind wandered to those I met in grade school, too … and to those at colleges and seminary … and the many different groupings of friends we have had over the years. I am awed as I think of the many, many different people – family, friends, acquaintances – through whom God in Christ has so richly blessed us over the years. Passing through, passing through. Sometimes happy, sometimes blue, Glad that I ran into you.
“No one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. … Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? … God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3.11, 16-17)
I think we met him a year or two before my father died. We became acquainted through his son – who has been a great blessing to us and our family. He was always quiet, generally with a friendly smile on his face. Life was never the same for him after his wife died … which was fourteen years ago. This week he was called home and I will be conducting his funeral on Saturday. I cherish the time to pause and reflect upon some of the simple blessings God brings our way – blessings that are so easily taken for granted. Passing through, passing through. Sometimes happy, sometimes blue.
“There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12.4-7)
She just came to our church in the last month. Her story is not a usual one, nor is the way God works always to be understood. It is far too early to tell what God has in mind … and, I guess, we don’t even have the promise that we ever will. We don’t even know if her stay will be short or long. But we do “know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8.28) Passing through, passing through.
There are blessings to be found in each and every person who passes through our lives. It is also a blessing that we are simply passing through. But the greatest blessing is found in the One who does not simply pass through, but rather promised “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.20) “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.7) … passing through you … passing through me … sometimes happy, sometimes blue ….