Later today, I will have the distinct privilege of leading the Memorial service of my friend Mike Hargis. Mike lived his life well, as evidenced by the obvious influence he has had in his family, community, and church. We also know that Mike is experiencing eternal life today in heaven. However, Mike is not present in heaven today because he lived his life well . . . He is in heaven today because of the grace of a loving God who sent Jesus to die in His place to take the penalty for his sins, and to forever reconcile Mike to God. Mike received that gift from Jesus by faith, and as a result, He is now alive forevermore — though his earthly life failed, his eternal life in Jesus continues.
As I prepare for this Memorial service, and reflect on the life of my friend, because of the truths stated above, I also cannot help but reflect upon the life of Jesus Christ . . . who came to us full of grace and truth in Bethlehem and beyond, giving us the chance to become sons and daughters of God. John 1 states, “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed in His name.” This verse is an invitation to “Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! Come and adore Him!” If we embrace by faith what Jesus has done for us (like Mike did) we can approach death triumphantly and adore Jesus, not just for the season but for all eternity.
This Sunday at Wildwood, we will be continuing our “The Christmas Carols” series by looking at the song “O Come All Ye Faithful.” We will specifically be looking at John 1:1-14 as an anchor for the truth that this song proclaims. We also will welcome all the kids into a portion of the worship services to sing some carols to us this weekend. Should be a great Sunday! Join us in our 9:45 or 11:00 service . . . and bring friends!