Death. Politics. Relational strife. 2016 was a wild and difficult year. You might think we’re gluttons for punishment to rehash the major storylines from the past 12 months, but sometimes by looking back we can more clearly see the way forward. As preparation for 2017, we’ll be reposting the five most-popular posts of 2016 from All Things New. God is the author of history, and because of that, our reflection can be an opportunity for gratitude and hope.

The countdown concludes at No. 1 with Mitch Majeski’s tribute to the late Charles Smith, a long-time member of the Summitview family. Charles was a dear friend to many in our fellowship, and his capacity for joy and laughter in the middle of suffering is a timeless and beautiful example for us. The New Year can remind us of Jesus’ promise to make all things new, and this promise is certain because of the resurrection. One day, we will again see the twinkle in Charles Smith’s eyes and hear his laugh.

To Live Is Christ, to Die Is Gain: Charles Smith, 1938-2016

by MITCH MAJESKI

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:18–21)

Summitview family:

Wednesday was a day to grieve and a day to rejoice. Charles Smith finished his race and was welcomed into paradise by the Savior he treasured. Rightly, we should grieve his family’s loss and our loss and, rightly, we should rejoice in his reward. If Charles ever laughed (and he did, even in the face of pain), he is laughing now. I wish I could see the twinkle in his eyes.

CONTINUE READING

ATN Staff

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