International Cowboy Church Alliance Network - ICCAN

Spreading the love of Jesus...the Cowboy Way!

      “I guess a man doesn't remember the 'howdys' as much as the 'so longs.'”

                         --Stephen Bly  (One Went to Denver...)

       "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
                         --Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)
                    "We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
                    There will be one vacant chair.
                    We shall linger to caress him
                    While we breathe our ev'ning prayer."
                              --Henry S. Washburn

This song was written towards the beginning of that horrendous epoch in our history--the Civil War.  It became very popular during the War and continued on afterwards.  The War left many vacant chairs in households across our country and this song was a reminder to the people of the household of the one who once sat in that chair and joined them at the dinner table.
       That is one of the main purposes of funerals (i.e., celebration of life) to remember.  Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that it is better for us to go to funerals than to parties.  For in attending a funeral we tend to remember.  We remember the person, their life, their times, what they did, anecdotes about them and so on.  That is why the Tomb of the Unknown is so important for there are thousands who died who no one knows where or when, but I will say that there is/was a household somewhere, someplace with a vacant chair.
       Memories, they are so important as we go through this life and especially so as we move toward the end of life.  Dr. Seuss said, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."  Little things sometimes are what we remember.  Gestures, word usage, are all part of a memory.  It is hard for me to think of my Grandma Adkisson without hearing what she called her, "Okie Malookie," or to point with her bony finger.  
       The word, "remember" means, "member me again."  It is the hope of one leaving the family circle, it is the hope of the scene of those at the casket; it was the hope of the man next to Jesus on the cross.  Whenever you gather together--remember me.  Whenever the family comes to sit around the fire on a cold winter's evening--remember me, the one who used to sit in that now vacant chair.  They want us to know, to remember, that even though gone, removed from us, that they are still a member of the family.
       George Matheson writes that "what most of us fear in death is not that we shall cease to be; it is that we shall cease to be members of the family of man."  He brings forth the cry of the one ready to depart this life.  "Shall we be members of the earth no more?  Shall the last link be broken that binds us to the clay?  Shall we be blotted out from time?  Shall we part from the seen and temporal?  Shall our feet have no right to be listened for in the march of the earthly army?  We stretch our hands through the void and cry, 'Member me again--remember me!'"
       Even Jesus, in that solemn sacrament of the Lord's Supper said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me...  This cup is the new covenant in My blood.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."  (1 Corinthians 11:25, 25, NKJV)  The calls for us to remember, not His death, but to remember Him, the focus should be on Him.  Whenever we think of the cross and the resurrection our focus should be on Jesus.  Whenever we go to church and participate in all of the functions and liturgy our focus should be drawn to Him--to remember Him.
       I had most of this thought and written out before my wife and I attended a "celebration of life" of a dear and old friend.  I have fond memories of her--we would call that part of her legacy.  We do not have to fear not to be remembered.  Being in Christ is a promise that restores life to the body.  One day we will be in that joyous throng in heaven, always to be remembered.  For the Lord never forgets any of us.  We are not just a number, but we are an eternal soul to Him.  When death tries to dissolve the tie with man on this earth, Jesus welcomes us with open arms to the true brotherhood of man saying--I remembered you.
D.C. Adkisson

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