You are the Crown
Posted in Faithfulness
Scripture: “… And the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:6-8
The Bible doesn’t really have any notion of “retiring,” but of course there are life changes. For those who are God’s servants, there are changes in places and kinds of service. Now entering retirement, my wife Angie and I are heading to Little River, where we’ll be worshiping and singing at First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach. We’ll see what God has in store for us there.
Today’s New Testament passage expresses my deep hope and my gratitude before God. Second Timothy says, “I’ve fought the good fight…and now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord… will award to me on that day… but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
We don’t often think of what will be the makeup of that precious forever crown. That’s why I want to hold before you these words of Paul, who thinks about the people he has served and served with, those from whom he’s now physically separated but those from whom in his heart he is now pleased to say he is never without. And as Paul looks now toward the final and forever consummation of his life and work he says, in essence, with deep gladness, “You know, whatever the small moments that we shall be apart, I know that when I’m gathered at last into the everlasting presence of our Lord, He will present me with a crown. And what’s our crown? It’s you and all those with whom we’ve gathered together for our Lord in this life and in the life to come.” Paul says in his heart he sees this great and gathered circle of those he’s known and loved. Likewise, as I look around with joy at every one of you at Eastminster, what I see and what I thank God for is every one of you! You are the crown!
Eastminster, thank you for the life you’ve shared with Angie and me, and for the love we will carry with us from here and wherever we go! Amen.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for our crown, the people of Eastminster whom we’ve loved and known. We’re thankful for their lives they’ve shared with us, but most of all, we are thankful for the love from which we will never be separated. Amen.
Submitted by: Rev. Dr. Mark Durrett
*This devotional is comprised of excerpts from Mark’s final sermon, delivered on October 27, 2019.