This is the one I have been putting off writing for quite a while now. With a new year just a few days away, I figure it’s about time to put it on the web.

One of the drawbacks of being passionate about community, small groups and doing life together is that, well, we do life together. As each of us knows, life doesn’t always come in rainbows and butterflies. There are days when the rain comes and the “grown up stuff” is no longer something our parents are dealing with. I say it’s a drawback, but the truth is that it is also the greatest part of community and doing life together. We don’t go through this alone.

2006 brought that reality in many forms to those we are doing life with. From the inner most circle of friends, to the distant ones we still keep in contact with. Within just a few days of each other we grieved the loss of a friend to cancer and we helped some our closest friends load their moving truck.  There has been talk of others possibly relocating. We have even pondered that real possibility ourselves.

We have rejoiced together, cried together, prayed together, mourned together, sang together, even danced together. In a very Romans 12:15-16 kinda way, we have “rejoiced with those who rejoice and we have mourned with those who mourned”. It is my highest honor to be a part of this community. While we have faced our share of struggle this year, we did it together. Our pain was your pain and your joy was our joy. For that I thank you.

Now that I’m on, I no longer have the ability to post the songs directly in the blog. We will have to settle for the lyrics. This song by Audio Adrenaline puts it better then I can. I say goodbye to 2006 with these words. To our friends, please remember “you know we won’t forget you. You know we never could. And when we said we loved you, you know we meant for good”. We are all richer for having you in our lives.

“Goodbye” by Audio Adrenaline from the CD Adios

You’ll be fine tomorrow
The sun will rise again
It’s never easy to say goodbye
You know I’ll always love you
You know I always will

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
My old friend (my old friend)
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
We’ve reached the end (we’ve reached the end)

I don’t cry for sorrow, I cry with joy
The memories we’ve made can’t be destroyed
You know I won’t forget you
You know I never could
And when I say I loved you
You know I meant for good
You know I’ll always love you