27 August 2008

Well done, good and faithful servant.

I am taking advantage of being the blog owner and posting a personal note.

Last night I received news that a friend, Violet Brown, died unexpectedly Monday evening. She joins her husband, Pastor Brown, in the Communion of Saints. I just realized that I do not know what his first name was; he has always been “Brother” or “Pastor” to me.

They were “in Pentecost” long before it was socially acceptable after the Charismatic movement took fire. They were firmly in the conservative, fundamental wing of Christianity, but they were not fundamentalists. They were products of a Pentecostalism and an age that is long gone when attitudes were very different, but they were loving people.

When their grandson broke the news about his orientation, the Browns surprised the heck out of me, though. They did not understand “it” at all, and they knew what the bible supposedly said on the subject, but, their love for that grandson never wavered and they never treated him different than they had before “the announcement.” And, they knew that God loved that boy. It’s too bad not all Christians can be that loving and caring.

Sister Brown’s final years were diminished by dementia. Nevertheless, she never lost the essential spark of her former self. Now, she is healed. As Bunyon wrote in Pilgrim’s Progress,

[She] formerly lived by hearsay and faith but now [she goes] where [she] shall live by sight, and shall be with him in whose company [she] delighted [herself.]

I’ll miss you, Sister Brown. Tell my mom and dad hello for me.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!