|Photo by Alexis Green|
Today, my cousin Michael Murphy lost his long battle with cancer but we pray he has won the prize, the crown of life, which is the Lord's to give:
For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)As Michael's body was being taken from his home this afternoon, there was a rainbow in the sky overhead. Michael's daughter, Alexis, took the photo above.
Michael's young nieces, on seeing the photo, came to their own theological conclusion that those who have died get to heaven by walking on a rainbow! Well...
God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature—every mortal being—so that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy every mortal being. When the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature—every mortal being that is on earth. God told Noah: This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and every mortal being that is on earth. (Genesis 9:12-17)Michael died with Christ in the saving flood of baptism, rose with him and lived a faithful Christian life. We trust that the Lord will keep his word of covenant with Michael and welcome him to life that has no end in the reign of God.
Trusting in God, we pray together for Michael as we come to this last farewell. There is sadness in parting, but we take comfort in the hope that one day we shall see Michael again and enjoy his love. Although we find ourselves in sorrow, we believe that the mercy of God will gather us together again in the joy of his kingdom. So let us console one another in our faith in Christ Jesus. (Adapted from the Rite of Christian Burial)Your prayers for Michael, his family and friends and all who were touched by his life will be much appreciated.
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