A Legacy and a Lifetime of Service
To this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10
As I’ve mentioned previously, my father is a pastor and over the years, I’ve heard him preach hundreds of sermons. Yesterday, I had the privilege of hearing him say Amen from the pulpit one last time as he finally retired just a few weeks after his 80th birthday. It was, as he described it, a bittersweet moment. When he looked back to the beginning of his ministry, he got misty eyed, which made me tear up. From that day, back in the 1960s to today, he’s been faithfully pastoring God’s flock. It was a beautiful moment as he closed out nearly six decades of service to the church and to God. It needs to be said too, that it was a retirement for my mother as well. Her name may not have been on the contract or the paychecks, but over the years, she’s served the church just as faithfully as my father has.
His sermon, just like the hundreds I’ve heard over the years, focused on his belief that we find new life only by grace, through faith in Christ. This of course, is the reason that he’s toiled all these years – because he believes that the point of life, and our only hope, is in knowing God. He said that his life and ministry wasn’t over, just his occupation as a pastor. He believes that as followers of Christ, the work of God belongs to all of us, not just to professional ministers. If we call ourselves Christians, we all have a mission and purpose – to do God’s will, following him and loving those around us.
This is the legacy my mother and father have left me. As they have spent their entire adult lives following God and serving his church, so too should I daily strive to share the hope of God with those around me. I’m no pastor. I never will be. That, however, doesn’t excuse me from living in service to God. If I claim to be a Christian and if I’ve found new life in my faith and recovery, then I must share that with others.
My parents are both about thirty years older than me and it boggles my mind, that I’m the same number of years older than my kids. I’ve certainly lost and wasted time in my life, but in thirty years, I hope that my kids can look back on my life with the same pride that I now have in my parents. I hope and pray that I pass on to my children the same legacy and lifetime of service that my parents have given me.
Thanks Mom and Dad! And Congratulations on retirement!