Once upon a time, not too very long ago,
a man wrote a welcoming poem for the liturgy celebration
of the 30th anniversary of his marriage.
The poem had special significance because he had experienced
to bouts of cancer in the previous three years.
Since he and his family liked to celebrate,
he had many opportunities to use this poem at subsequent family liturgies
(weddings, baptisms, birthdays.)
When he died, a few months before his 38th anniversary,
the poem was on his prayer card and read by his son
at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.
And in the years since his death, his family continues
to use the poem for their celebrations.
The poem makes his continuing presence in their midst a cause of joy.
If I could touch the stars today
or see when life was new,
I know I’d feel no greater thrill
than being here with you.
For in the church and in these pews
God’s glory shines so bright.
There’s cause for joy. O Lord, there is.
A fest just seems so right.
You gather folks, you break the bread,
tell stories bold and how!
Sing lusty songs and dance till late
And shout at death, “Not now!”
Lord, we are those who tout your ways,
So proud we made a din.
Bless all of us who praise you here
Now, let this fest begin.
To love another person is to see the face of God.