The problem has been difficult me for the past few weeks. I’ve thought about it while driving, when getting up, while eating and when going to bed. What will my last words be? What words of spiritual support and advice can I give? It finally occurred to me that what needed to be spoken would be the absolute best thing to say; that word which would exhort the most; that word which would provide the most comfort and spiritual edification – that word is actually two words, “Thank you.”
Yes, I want my last bulletin article at the South Fayette church of Christ to express my families sincere and deep gratitude to this congregation. We are extraordinarily grateful for having been here. I remember the day I got the call from Harold asking us to come here. The work was going well in Indiana, but I was SO grateful for that call. Since then I have told many how thankful I am to be here and how much of a blessing it is to be with you. Let me just number a few things for which I am thankful.
I’m thankful to you for your support of my work as a gospel preacher and for my family. Gospel preachers are just like everyone else in that they need some way of supporting themselves and their families. The Bible teaches that we are to be content with such things as we have and take one day at a time (Hebrews Matt 6:34). Thank you for your loving support.
I’m thankful to you for your friendship. You have been wonderful friends to Dawn, the kids and I. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I can’t think of a single time that we needed something and you weren’t there to help us. Friends like you are few and far between. Thank you for your loving friendship.
Finally, I’m thankful for the spirit of love that flows through this congregation. Dawn and I have worshipped in different congregations. The spirit of love that characterizes this congregation is tremendous. As Gary often says, it’s “kindred.” Your love for the Lord is undeniable and that is our first priority as Christians (Matt.22:37). Your love for your neighbor is also without reproach. I’m not talking about the emotional adolescent love. I’m talking about the mature, adult, sober love that characterizes God’s faithful. Emotions come and go with time; the love that seeks the highest good of our neighbor is constant, steady, and strong regardless what may come. Thank you for your spirit of love!
There are many other things for which I could, in detail, express thanks: the potlucks, the get-togethers, the singings, the comments in classes, the small group Bible studies, and every single detail that has made our life here at South Fayette pleasant. I just can’t name them all. And so, with my last published words, I simply say, God bless you and THANK YOU!
With brotherly affection, the Brenton family
Ps. When a preacher moves on to another work, there’s the temptation for the group to scatter. Please stand strong and unite. I want to impress upon you that Christ alone is the Head of His Church and God gives the increase. It’s never been about me, the eldership or any man. There is always a temptation to place too high an emphasis on the preacher or eldership as to the sole success of a local church. Leadership matters, but Christ alone is our head, not man. Stay close and stand firm in Him!