Dear all, dear friends here in the Netherlands, my friends who came over for my birthday today, my friends who wished me a happy birthday in different other ways, and all my other friends who impacted my life in ways of which only God knows, by shaping me, through conversations we had, in the time we shared together. Thank you for being that friend to me!
This morning I received a wonderful Birthday present: First of all before seven a cup of tea from the kids, a song and a few nice presents. How happy I am to be the mom in this family.
A few hours later I received another present: A tiny piece of bread and some wine, poured into a very old cup. And that was special. Not because of that wine or that bread. But that very old cup showed me that I was not just sitting there celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, but it showed me that there is a long line of people who have believed in Christ and who have been proclaiming His death and resurrection till He comes. It showed me that we all are connected. Many generations went to this old church, have been sad and glad, lived their lives in hope, giving up hope and putting their hope again in Jesus alone.
But there is also our personal journey which means so much to me, because of all of you whom we got to know in journeying with us. I just realized that we celebrated communion in so many different churches and with so many different people and in so many different ways that it made me quiet. What a blessing!
In our church we read as an old liturgical form which refers to ‘the many grains which together become the wheat from which the bread is made, and the many grapes from which the one wine is poured.’ And in this way it shows me the Body of Christ. And in this way I feel so connected with so many of you.
And this great and wonderful connection of being part of the Body of Christ gives me that deep sense of belonging. And it makes me so at home in my Lord and Savior. I know that readers of this blog come from all over the planet! Yet we belong together. God really is and will be our Dwelling place. I hope that you are encouraged with knowing that although we can’t share time together as we did in the past, you still have a big place in my heart. And I carry that with me where ever I go!
I want to end today with this song from the Bach’s St. John’s passion:
” Oh help, Christ, Son of God, that through your bitter suffering,
we may constant be in our obedience to you
to avoid all sin,
may we fruitfully consider your death and its true cause,
for which, although poor and weak,
we offer you our thanks.”
Happy Birthday, Janneke! What a wonderful birthday gift from the Lord, that he should show you how loved and chosen you are in his family. It is a great blessing to have you as a friend and ‘sister’. x Ruth