Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Oldest Member Of The Congregation I Serve Just Died

Last night, technically early this morning, the eldest member of the congregation I serve was called home to be with the Lord in her 98th year. The last several months, if not the last couple of years, had been very difficult for her, but she kept on looking to her Lord, waiting for him to call her home. While there is sadness, I even found my emotions effected as I was by her bed earlier in the day yesterday reading the scriptures and praying, at the same time there is joy. Her last weeks and days were not plesant. Pain had started and her body was slowly shutting down, but now she is with her Lord. It brought to mind two texts from the Bible to me.

First from 2 Corinthians 5,
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

2 Cor 5:1-10 (ESV)

And the other from Philippians:
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Phil 1:21-23 (ESV)

For one whose faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ, death is not to lose anything. It is to gain all things. It is to be with Christ who is better, more beautiful, more amazing, than anything else this world has to offer. She groaned in those last days of her life with pain, weakness, loneliness, and more, to be with her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Pray for the family as they go through this difficult time. Pray for me as well as with Good Friday and Easter, this makes for a very busy weekend which I enter with a cold seeming to be coming on. Most of all, pray that in this the glory of Christ may shine out that those who do not know him may see him and know him and trust him.


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