Paul, recognizing the end of his life is near, writes in 2 Timothy 4:6-8,
“6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
This morning, Pastor Geoff and I, along with many other pastors in the Chicago Metro Presbytery, will be attending the funeral for Pastor David Smith (far left) of Crete Church.
Just over two years ago, Pastor Smith, and the pastors of four other formerly RCA churches, joined the PCA. There was excitement and anticipation about the future. Then several months later, while preaching a sermon, Pastor Smith lost his train of thought, and could not recall where he was or why he was there, and also realized, that he could not read his notes. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
That battle came to an end this past Sunday. He has fought the good fight. He has finished the race. He has kept the faith.
Our fellow pastor and friend, Paul Vroom (second from the right), who pastors a church that also came into the PCA with David Smith, wrote this on his David’s passing,
“As it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"-1 Corinthians 2:9
This afternoon, around 12:30 PM, David Smith entered Heaven's gate. Instead of the physical healing that we had hoped for, the Lord had brought complete healing to David by bringing him closer to Himself. I am grateful that "...the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies." (Westminster Confession of Faith 32)
Will you please remember his wife Amy, their children, Noah, Elijah, and Abigail, family and extended family, close friends, and members of Crete Church in your prayers?”
Pastor Vroom will be officiating the service this morning, a service where we will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
The service will be a celebration of his life, and a rejoicing at David’s home-going to be with the Lord. And yet, while their family will be surrounded by friends and family this morning, who will all be offering words of comfort and hope, I cannot begin to comprehend the grief, confusion, and even anger that his family and friends experiencing. A husband is gone. A father is gone. A son is gone. A brother is gone. A pastor is gone. A friend is gone.
I am thankful that every aspect of this situation is addressed in the Psalms. A songbook that allows God’s people to honestly own every single situation and emotion, including the untimely loss of a loved one, and bring it before the throne of the God of steadfast love and faithfulness.
I am also thankful that the hope we are offered in the gospels is real hope.
Please remember the Smith family in your prayers this week.