Celebrate This Week : January 6, 2017.
Mick, my little brother, has been in my heart much this week.
Just five years ago, on January 4, 2012, after a very long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, Mick said goodby to me. The next day, I posted Mick’s high school senior picture on my FB page. Beside it I wrote: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalms 116:15. Mick is with Jesus.”
Thankful that he was my brother, I celebrate his life here.
This is his eulogy that I wrote and read at his Celebration of Life in 2012.
I call to remembrance the genuine faith that was in Mick, a faith that dwelt first in his grandparents and in his parents. A faith that he shared with his wife; a faith that she abides in. A faith that continues in his children and his children’s children.
Mick knew in whom he believed–Jesus, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, crucified upon the cross, raised from the dead, seated at the right hand of God, the Father–our Savior and Lord, our coming King. Yes, and Mick was persuaded that God would keep him in all times, in all things. And though trials came to his life, though he suffered much for many years, yet by faith he lived.
By faith, Mick thought on those things which are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report. He meditated upon the Word of God, and God’s peace, the peace which surpasses all understanding rested upon his life, guarding his heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
By faith, Mick spoke, not to please men but to please God who tested his heart. Mick’s words did not waver; there was no unbelief in them. His words did not flatter; there was no deceit in them. His words did not tear down; they built up. His words were not without hope; in them there was life.
By faith, Mick fulfilled the high calling. He proclaimed, preached, taught, exhorted. He prayed and comforted. He rejoiced in our faith, and gave thanks to God in all things. And with his life and his words he challenged all around him to live like Jesus that they should walk worthy of God who has called each of us into His own Kingdom and glory.
By faith, Mick shepherded the flock entrusted to his care. Gentle, filled with compassion, he gave of his life to others; people were dear to him. He did not wear a cloak of self-righteousness. He was ever humble before those he served.
By faith, he loved devotedly and walked blamelessly–as husband and father, as son and brother, as grandfather and uncle, as pastor and friend.
By faith, he continually pressed toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. And so, he walked singularly with the Lord in holiness. He stood fast in the Lord. He rejoiced in the Lord always.
By faith, Mick fought the good fight. Mick obtained a good testimony, though he did not receive the fullness of the promise in this life. By faith, he crossed the finish line, completing the course that was set before him.
Mick has joined the cloud of witnesses that surround us. His joins his voice with his father and mother, with his brother Ross, with his cousin Bill, with grandparents, with uncles and aunts, with dear friends–all who in faith have gone before. Together with them, he stands in the presence of God, our Father and of Jesus, our Savior and of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.
Mick lived among us by faith; and Mick lives yet… because of his faith. And for us who yet wait–who look for the appearing of our Lord, Mick leaves a legacy of faith in action, of steadfast faith regardless of circumstances.
Mick would remind us that our citizenship is in Heaven. He would say, “Therefore, wait eagerly for your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform your lowly body that it might be conformed to His glorious body.” He would remind us, “Run the race well. Let no one, let nothing hinder you from obeying the truth.” He would exhort us, “Keep the faith!”