Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 40
October 4, 2021
Saturday I spent part of my day away from my normal schedule of sermonizing and paused to watch an online memorial service for an important mentor, Rev. Allan Janssen. He died more than a year ago, in April 2020, of Covid-19. It is a sad tragedy that he has left us and hundreds of us who were mentored by him or were students of his, are mourning and missing him.
Somehow I did not fully feel the grief of losing him. Perhaps when he died I was too busy learning how to keep safe myself. Three weeks later, my own sister died, further pushing off my grief. This past Saturday, while participating in his memorial online, I finally felt it.
It was hard to control my tears. I’m glad that no one else was around to see my reaction. I must have looked like a sight, look at a computer with uncontrolled tears. Feeling every word that was spoken. Finally, with this service of worship, I had the chance to fully grieve.
Time had meant nothing in the grief process, but the public memorial meant everything to me. The memorial liturgy was familiar to me. I’ve used it dozens, if not hundreds of times, as I have presided at funerals and memorials. Yet, this time I heard the words of comfort more clearly. I was listening and not speaking. I was grieving, not presiding.
It was a grief delayed, but I finally got there. I was able to grieve in the presence of God and his faithful people. I can move on and live the life that Al would want me to live; faithful to God and faithful to the Reformed Church in America. Thank you, Al, for being such a good example of this.