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For the past few years Canada has watched the Bosma family and friends go through horrific events that in some way we identified with. The loss of a spouse after the simple act of placing a truck for sale; the search for a loved one whom we thought might be found; and the subsequent court proceedings against the two men responsible for Tim’s disappearance and death.

And what has been striking through all of it is the grace that Sharlene Bosma and the surrounding community has displayed.

Just after the trial ended last Friday, a CBC reporter commented with surprise on Sharlene’s “gratitude in light of all that she had been through.” Local media outlets have also spoken of the grace of the Bosma family throughout.

But I am not surprised. Built deep into the foundational makeup of Christians in the Christian Reformed Church [CRC] is a framework that helps us to understand life in a way that makes sense of it all.

First, we understand that the world is broken. It does not operate in the way that it was originally meant to. In this case, the brokenness took the form of two men with evil intent.

Yet we, as members of the CRC, know that the story doesn’t end there. Our hope is found in nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness. It is his love, expressed through the many kind acts and care throughout the Bosma trial, that ultimately demonstrates that the gift of love given nearly 2000 years ago means something.  We call it “grace.”

These acts are not surprising. For us, they should be the way life is lived, ordinarily. We live our lives with gratitude -- for the gift of love given at the cross, and the gifts given ever since. This permeates every aspect of our lives – there is always a reason to express gratitude.  And Sharlene Bosma has done it superbly, just as that CBC reporter mentioned. Gratitude in life’s trials and tribulations; in life’s joys and elation. Gratitude.

So, “Thank you” to all Canadians who have followed with support, prayer, and good wishes for the Bosmas.  “Thank you” to the Canadian justice system.  “Thank you” especially to the local media, who were diligent and responsible in their coverage of the events. “Thank you” to all who prayed for justice to be done. “Thank you” to the Ancaster church that cared so directly for the Bosmas. “Thank you” to the people who gathered and prayed at the courthouse for the entire week. “Thank you” to the City of Hamilton and its ongoing care for its citizens.

Please continue to pray for and support the Bosma family as you are able. And we ask that you also pray for the justice system of Canada, that it may help to restore prisoners to the full gift of life that God intends for all humanity.

To view a slideshow of the Bosma Prayer vigil, click here

To read the CRC news story about the outcome of the Bosma trial, click here

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