Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goodnight, Brother

Rev. Louis Z. Enriquez passed away on Tuesday. Today I joined hundreds of others in honoring his life, mourning our loss, and celebrating his home-going. He was a man who loved God, loved his family, loved his congregation, loved his community. He loved being a pastor, and kept at it until the very end.

During the funeral, one of the pastors (I don't remember which one -- there were many!) referred to II Timothy 4, in which the apostle Paul addressed young Timothy, to whom he had been a mentor. In those moments, verses 7-8 nearly leaped off the page at me:

"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."

Amazingly, the tremendous crowd in the sanctuary today represents only a relatively small portion of those Brother Louie impacted throughout his life and fifty years of ministry. He served Christ with faithful persistence and great love. He fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith. He served with the joy of knowing that, by the grace of God, a crown of righteousness would be his.

As one pastor said at the end of the graveside service, we did not come to say goodbye, but goodnight, and Brother Louie, we'll see you in the morning.

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