This weekend I had the honor and privilege to celebrate the life of three different individuals. The first of which is Barbara McGinnis Schult, or as I like to call her, grandma. She was diagnosed with leukemia, which caused her passing not two weeks after her diagnosis. She was the most humble individual I have ever met. She was the type of person that you never see get mad but you know that if she ever did, it would not be a good thing. She could be reserved when she wanted to be, but she also knew how to boogie down when it was appropriate. We are told that we have been instructed as to exactly what God requires of us, we are to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with our God, it is this philosophy that this woman so perfectly embodied. Her passing has been hard on my family and myself. But the pain of her lose is not what we should be remembering, nor is it what she would want. We should celebrate, yes you heard me right. We should celebrate the life of Barbra McGinnis Schult. The life of humility, the life of love, the life of a wife, the life of a mother, and the life of a grandmother.
It has been the community that has held us together. As I stood at the procession in the fellowship hall of the church, I lost count of the amount of people that would walk by, shake my hand and tell me what a truly amazing woman she was and how dear of a friend she was to them. It is this kind of community that we must cling to if we are to move on. It is community that has got me through. It is this community of friends and loved ones that knew exactly how to help, whether that be to cry with me or have a cigaret with me. I am truly blessed to have each and every one of these individuals in my life.
The second two individuals that I have the privilege of celebrating are Sarah Conde and Abigail Fesmire. These two beautiful and God fearing woman got baptized this weekend. I have known these two woman for almost three years now, and I could not be any more proud of the decision of obedience that they made the waters of the York River.
You see, this is how life is. As we celebrate the life and passing of a dear family member, we go on to celebrate the life and future walk of another. The Lord giveth and he taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. For I am in agreement with the apostle Paul, for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And it is this love, love through Jesus Christ, that allows us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. It is this love, love through Jesus Christ, that leads us beside still waters and makes us to lie down in still pastures. It is this love, love through Jesus christ, that restores our soul. It is this love, love through Jesus Christ, that causes goodness and lovingkindness to follow us all the days our lives, and allows us to dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever, to which we say amen.
It is the life of these three woman that I want to embody, the love and humbleness of Barbara McGinnis Schult and the obedience of Sarah Conde and Abigail Fesmire.
But once again, it is community that we celebrate with and live with and is that which allows us to embody these traits. For without community, we are left with a Kantian god, an unknowable wholly other. Therefore, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Therefore, Brothers and sisters, I implore you, learn by the example of these three woman. Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
—Your Humble Servant