Seeking the Crown of Glory

A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness. 
(Proverbs 16:31)
I began the process of writing this blog post at the beginning of the week.
I had just seen a news article about a local church that was opening a new campus to minister exclusively to their senior members.  That’s right, for the first time that I can remember a church is opening an “old folks” church, like a nursing home.
As I read the article, I could not help but laugh at their rationale and their attempts to make it sound like it would be anything but a place to cater to the preferences of older adults in regards to time, music, and style; merely a place to keep them happy so they will continue to give their tithe to the church
. But as I pondered it more, I realized that the people that are really going to suffer in this decision are the members who will miss out on a relationship with these wonderful people and the wisdom that they offer.
And then my world went upside down for a moment…
Yesterday morning I received word that one of these men, a senior member of my church, had passed away.
Mr. Bird was the kind of man you wanted to be around.  He was a Deacon Emeritus.  He had served in our church and a few others throughout the years, so he knew a thing or two.  He was always quick to encourage, always positive, always smiling.  When I was down, he would lift me up.  When things did not look good at the church, (low attendance, conflict, etc.) he would have an encouraging word or he would remind me how important family is.
Just recently our church decided to go into the community and invite people to church and VBS.  He came up to me after services on the first day we went out and said, “You never know.  Sometimes when we are faithful in one area; God will open up a door in a completely different place for you to minister.”  We went out, we met people, and then a few days later a different community asked us to come and share with them!  I will never forget that.
Now imagine…
Imagine if I had just shipped this man and his wonderful wife to another campus because I think they would like the music better there and they would be with their own kind!
He would have missed out on the chance to encourage me, my wife, and my family.  He would have not been able to bring his wisdom, leadership, and positivity to our congregation.  He would not have changed the lives that he has changed.
And we would have missed out also.  I am a better man today because he was in my life. 
That is why it is so important that we don’t divide people; not by age, not by race, not by wealth.  We have so much to offer one another.
We are one body.  We need each other.  I am reminded of that today.
Thank you, Arvil Bird.  I will see you one day again in glory along with the many other godly men & woman that I have had the privilege of knowing as pastor.