Yesterday we celebrated, along with his family, the life of an ordinary, yet truly remarkable man.
We listened as his sons talked about their Grandparents. How Grandpa would go tent preaching & Grandma along with the children sang songs and played instruments. They talked about the gospel, love (and music) that was clearly in that home.
We listen as his sons talked about how their father (upon growing up from little boy in tent services to head of his own household) continued purposeful shepherding of the church and most especially of his home. He never made his role as pastor more important than his role as husband and father...and grandfather...and great grandfather. They shared about the gospel, work ethic, nurturing, music, love and laughter in his home.
We watched as his legacy unfolded before us. We watched his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren honor him in their own special way, with music. They sang and played instruments individually, in small groups and as a whole family. Even his elderly, rickety brother and his wife were singing for him! The attentiveness that this man gave to guiding his flock was evident. It is so every Sunday as we worship with his family. We see their integrity. We see what God has done in the life of a faithful servant and his generations after him.
This man was Bob Parker. He was Pastor at Riverpark Bible church many years ago. He had been in "retirement" for several years. Though it is said that he never really caught on to that concept. As evidenced by his continued heart felt service to God & His people. This memorial had attendants from many of the churches he visited or was a short term pastor at during his "retirement". He was also cherished by members from the original "Riverpark" as well as those (like us) attending now.
It was a powerful picture of what life can be when our priorities are lined up correctly.
Not all of us can stand and say we have a legacy like the Parker family. A legacy that went even further back than Bob himself. Sadly many people have parents or grandparents who did not lead honorable paths. However a difference can be made right here, right now for future generations. We honor Christ by striving after His gospel. When we lay our troubles at his feet, when we release our hurts for him to carry, when we step back and let him worry about the vengeance we are free from harbored hate or malice. Loving and praying for our forebears comes more easily. Joy is readily available. Peace reigns in homes and in our hearts.
What will they say at your memorial? What will they say at mine? Let us all have the strength to do the things that lead us down the path we truly want for ourselves and our children and our childrens, children......