"Upon Thy People"
We will miss Mrs. Berry. She loved the Lord, loved attending the chapel services we conduct at a local retirement community, loved "Amazing Grace", and loved the people with whom she lived the last years of her life.
Mrs. Berry went to be with her Lord last week after an illness. She lay in isolation for several weeks before her passing and we couldn't visit her. The restriction lifted in the last days of her life, however, and we were allowed to see her several times. We prayed with her, sang for her, and read the Scriptures. Mrs. Berry couldn't communicate during these visits, at least verbally, but her eyes were open and keenly attentive to us. I will always be grateful for those moments with her, and for the many services in which the Lord greatly blessed us through her presence, and His presence in her.
"Thy blessing is upon Thy people" (Psalm 3:8).
Frances and I have bid farewell to hundreds of dear brothers and sisters like Mrs. Berry doing our years at the retirement communities where we conduct many of our services. I don't remember all their names, and many of their faces have even passed from my mind. Somehow they all remain in heart, however, and in the legacy of God's grace in the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed through their devotion to Him. I frequently look out on congregations in the realization of God's blessing upon His people, and in much gratitude for the gift of living our earthly lives together with our Lord in preparation for our Heavenly eternity with Him and with each other. We are family now, and will be even more so then. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
Presently we behold our Lord "though a glass, darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12). Sometimes, however, the vision seems quite bright, especially as we look upon the Lord Jesus as He lives in brothers and sisters. Mrs. Berry had her place in this gaze of grace our Lord so blessedly bestows upon us (as do those of you who read this). We will miss her, but not forever. Her abiding legacy glimmers with the assurance of hope in the Life that now is, and is to come. The Lord's blessing is surely upon His people, and as we live our lives together, a special dispensation of His presence graces us with present glories, and promises even greater to come.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forevermore."
Weekly Memory Verse
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.