There are many things to be thankful for, especially on this holiday weekend. We have truly been blessed. One area that we often overlook are the brethren that have finished their course here and have gone on to be with the Lord. Since I moved here in March of 2008, we have had many funerals. Below is a list of our brethren who have passed on since I have been here and the date of their passing. Many of us well remember these wonderful folks. They helped shape us to who we are today. Some served as shepherds. Others were Bible class teachers. We hope these names will take you down memory lane and will be a reminder that we should never forget our brethren.
There are some lessons that we ought to see here:
First, life is always moving. It’s fluid. We don’t stay one age. Solomon said a generation goes and a generation comes. He also wrote, “there is a time to be born and a time to die.” God holds that divine appointment for each of us. We sing, “This world is not my home.” These reminders help us to realize that.
Second, life is full of people. Look at all these wonderful names. They worshipped with us. They were part of this church family. People are always coming and going in and out of our lives. For reasons we often do not realize nor understand, God allows our lives to intersect with others. Through those intersections, we help, encourage and bless each other. Today, as you look about this church building, you’ll see young families and senior citizens. You’ll see people who have been part of this church for decades and others for just a few months. Our lives are connected here. We have intersected for this moment in time. Years from now, some of us will be gone to the other side. Others will have moved on to different places. These memories we form here, these impressions, these influences, help point us to the Lord. Good folks, godly people, that’s what we have all around us.
Third, all these names represent people like you and I. They loved the Lord and each of them were baptized into Christ. They, like you, journeyed on through faith. They had their own battles, struggles and joys, just as you do. They made the decision to worship God on Sundays. They helped support this work. They invited their friends and did what they could. We are here today because of folks just like them. And, what you and I do now, determines and shapes the kind of church this will be in the future.
Fourth, there will be a time when our names are on a similar list. What will people think of when they remember your name? Are you making a difference in the lives of your church family?
I am thankful for these brethren. I knew most of them. I preached a majority of those funerals. In this season of thankfulness, we look back and say “Thank you,” to our brethren who have helped us.
Hebrews 13:7 “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”