Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13)
A Life Story
This morning has been busy preparing for a funeral of a dear saint who passed into glory last week. She was a kind example of a Christian woman who lived a full life of 85 years. There is much that I do not know about her life as I have only known her for a year but in the body of Christ, it seems like we have known one another for many years. This has always been remarkable to me. The depth of fellowship with fellow disciples is not measured by years but the joy of sharing in Christ a common faith. Our communion in the bond of Christ is so dear and endearing because we share the Father of glory that calls us all His children. She was my sister in Christ. We were also neighbors.
Reflecting on the activities of the day I could not help but think the greatest stories told are the lives of the unknown faithful children of God who leave a lasting impression on the hearts of God’s family. She will never have her named inscribed on a monument of significance in the eyes of men but her name is indelibly marked upon our hearts. She lived in a modest home in a modest neighborhood in a quiet town in central Florida. No reporters, no fan mail, no news flash about her life; nothing spectacular will flash across the newsreel or internet about her life or death. A simple gathering this morning will mark her memorial followed by the interment of her mortal body to the earth. The family will gather for a meal and everyone will begin to go their own ways back to the lives they live. But the story remains. We will remark tomorrow how we miss our dear sister. What that says is a great story.
What makes this a great story is the epitaph of her life. Her epitaph will be her legacy of faithfulness to Christ. The marble headstone will bear her name and life beginning to end. It is her story that will live on. She will not be forgotten. She will not be looked upon with sadness because of her eternal state. It will be the hope of Heaven that helps us all strive to live each day in the knowledge that a crown of life awaits all those who eagerly await the coming of the Lord. Life is not about here. Life is about the joy we share in the oldest story of man’s history: redemption.
Thank you sister Nellie for your life and for your sweet example. Now that is a great story.