Note: For those who were not present for that joyful occasion, here is my exhortation to the 50 or so people gathered to celebrate the life of this faithful brother.
We are here to honor Ron Smith and his monumental accomplishment of turning 60 years old. We have all been blessed by his life of service. We have all in some sense been touched by his unending generosity, his abundant hospitality, and his ability to enjoy life in its fullest.
I want to touch on what makes such a life exemplary. The reality is that when men turn 60 they are looking forward to the days when passivity will become common. This is not Ron Smith’s vision. Ron’s vision is one guided by the Word of God, which exhorts men to live lives under the Reign of King Jesus. This is a day when men grow old, but do not grow wise. White hair does not necessarily mean wisdom. When the Bible speaks of white hair it implies that the individual has made wisdom his life-long pursuit. Wisdom means finding in the Bible not just God’s will for your life, but God’s will for everything else in this world. We treasure the life of Ron Smith because he has sought to grow in wisdom, and he has not been content to use the Bible as a tool of piestism, but as a tool for dominion.
Jesus is Lord over everything. Nothing moves, nothing breathes, no man wills, no man believes, no man exists, as Abraham Kuyper said: “”Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'”
This is the good life our Lord promises us. This is the vision of growing old in the sight of God and man. This is not a vision that many evangelicals share today, but it is a vision I commend to you; a vision illustrated and fulfilled in Ron Smith: a vision that affirms that Jesus is Lord of everything, and His Kingship is an everlasting kingship. Amen.
Let us pray:
We give you thanks for the life of your servant, Ron Smith, O Lord. We thank you for calling him to serve you as a Deacon in your Holy Bride, the Church, as a faithful father to his children, as a loving husband to his wife, and as one who embodies your Kingship over his life. We pray that you would grant him many years to come. May He serve you with his gifts. May his life teach others that Jesus is indeed Lord. May his worldview reflect the tangibility of a Gospel that changes lives and that transforms the world.
May we eat with joy and celebrate Your reign, for you give us food in abundance. May the peace and blessing of God descend upon us as we receive of his bounty, and may our hearts be filled with love for one another.
O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on you servant Ron Smith as he begins another year. Grant that he may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen his trust in your goodness all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.