Thoughts about a Family Reunion
We did have a lot of eating and singing at our house last Saturday. I love every single person who came. But two of the people, while having less to say than most who came, still spoke to my heart.
Kennedy Smith, 15 months old, was the youngest clan member in attendance (and the cutest). Kennedy has the same good heritage that the rest of us have. She is the great, great, great granddaughter of an elder in the church. She is the great, great granddaughter of another elder in the church. She is the granddaughter of a gospel preacher and her parents are faithful Christians. What’s different for Kennedy lies not in the past, but in the future. Kennedy is part of a Christian generation that may very well face persecution from the devil’s allies in America. Her generation may see a time when preaching the gospel, and, yes, even reading from parts of the New Testament may be considered hate speech. She may be forced to teach her own children the principles of Christianity in a country that tolerates all beliefs except the teachings of the precious book upon which her forefathers built their lives. May God help Kennedy and her generation of His people to remain faithful till the end. May she and her compatriots in the Lord’s Kingdom realize that His nation of Holy people is the one in which their true citizenship lies and the one that will stand forever.
The oldest member of the clan is Lee Holder. Even he is a second-generation Christian. He’s the only one old enough to remember growing up in the home of sharecroppers. He remembers days before jet planes, television, fast food and computers. He has lived through some lean times and some subsequent years of plenty. At ninety-one, he brought the family pictures for all to peruse, a big tub of leftover Halloween candy for divvying up, and a big dish of his homemade macaroni and cheese (and it is good stuff). It won’t be too many years before He wins the victory. If the Lord delays His coming and we all live, he will leave behind four faithful adult children, three sons-in-law who are preachers of the gospel, and nine grandchildren, all of whom are walking in His ways. Two grandsons are already preaching the gospel and a third is currently a Bible major at FHU. His one married granddaughter is the wife of a gospel preacher. While Kennedy’s challenging days are ahead of her, the challenging years are likely behind Him. He also brought the words and music to a favorite old song that he wanted to hear us sing. We did sing it. Here are the words. Enough said.
I would like to think when I’m nearer life’s brink
That I’ve written some song that will live,
And living, impart some help to some heart,
And strength, to the traveler, give.
I would like to feel when the last time I kneel
By my bedside to pray my last prayer,
That ever along my life was a song
Whose music my heart set with care.
I would like to know when from earth I must go
That the Christ was the theme of my songs–
In Life or in hymn, the praise gave I Him
To whom all the glory belongs.
And then, only then, can I welcome the end
Of the pathway I’ve followed so long;
And leave behind, by truth refined
A song, a beautiful song.
(song by L.O. Sanderson)