I’m not a fan of “goodbyes.” My parents have been visiting for the last couple of days and this morning we’re having to say, “Goodbye.” It’s sad watching my kids get teared up saying goodbye to their grandparents.
In the state that I hail from, Minnesota, we have this thing called “The Minnesota Goodbye.” In my experience, it seems to have invaded most of the Upper Midwest, but it prevails in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Goodbye is just a really long “goodbye.” My grandma has it perfected. I will have just spent an entire afternoon and evening Thanksgiving with her talking about all sorts of things, but at the end of the night, after she puts on her coat, grabs her half eaten hotdish (because that’s what casseroles are really called), opens the door to the blistery night, she’ll turn and ask, “So, Aaron, what is the meaning of life?”
Okay – maybe the question isn’t that vague, but it’s some sort of question like, “How are things going at church? What are the kids enjoying doing these days?” Or, some other question that I’m sure could have been asked in the last 6 hours together, but now must be discussed before leaving.
If you want to learn more about the Minnesota goodbye, watch this video.
In Acts 20, Paul says a final goodbye to the elders that he has appointed from the city of Ephesus. Paul spent longer in Ephesus than any other place – probably a combined 3 years ministering to the people there.
He is off to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the day of Pentecost. He’s been warned that things may not go well for him in Jerusalem and so this goodbye he gives is a final goodbye. There are tears. There’s heartbreak. And there’s final commands and wishes that Paul gives to the church.
If you knew that each goodbye would be a final goodbye, what would you include? Would you make sure to leave a lasting message of hope in Jesus?
We’ll spend more time discussing this on Sunday. I hope to see you there!
Alive in Christ!