Honoring a Father in the Faith

gloryjpegPay to all what is owed to them: . . .
respect to whom respect is owed,
honor to whom honor is owed.

— Romans 13:8 —

In God’s kind providence he has given me many fathers in the faith. Some have taught me how to read the Bible, others have showed me how to love my family and do the work of the ministry, and others have even helped me know where to stand. It is this last category that I am reminded of today.

More than five years ago, when I was newly called as pastor, Jim Downey told me where to stand and how to lead my first funeral service. To someone fresh out of seminary and nervous to conduct his first funeral, such simple instructions were truly invaluable. His fatherly advice was most welcome and would be the first of many funeral services he and I conducted together. But with sadness in my heart, we will not share that ministry again.

On Monday, July 6, Jim went to receive his reward in heaven. Yesterday, I stood next to the man who told me where to stand at a funeral. And today, I want to honor him for his service to the Lord. Continue reading