He Lives – For Warren, RIP

Less than a month ago I had the privilege of helping lead an Easter worship service that was a joint venture between Resurrection and Grand Avenue Temple.

This evening I learned of the tragic death of one of the participants in that service.  Warren, a member of Grand Avenue Temple, a man who was currently homeless and living under a bridge, was recently killed.  All of the details have not yet been released, but his death has been ruled a homicide.  Funeral services are being planned for Friday.

During Easter worship Warren sang, “He Lives” during a time of transition from the darkness and pain and death that is Saturday to the promise of resurrection on Easter morning.  It was powerful!  On Saturday during a run through of the service he visited some with musicians from Resurrection about how honored he was to be a part of this service.  He confessed that he was quite nervous, but spoke about how powerful it was for him to be waking up on Easter morning from his spot under a bridge and stepping into a worship service to sing of the power of the Easter message and Christ’s resurrection.

Beyond logistical conversations about the service, I never had much chance to visit with Warren.  With that in mind, I hesitate to speculate too much about what it might have meant to him to sing on Easter morning.  However, based on what I saw on Saturday and Sunday I am comfortable to speculate this much.  Warren understood that in the resurrection there is a promise of a better life, an abundant life, a life that is intended to be both here and now as well as a life that is to come after this one ceases.

Understanding the power of the resurrection and experiencing it as a part of the Grand Avenue Temple community, Warren lived it out in remarkable ways.  Warren modeled the power of the resurrection, this call for abundant life.  He showed that no matter who you are or what difficulties you face in life, it is important to be involved in a faith community where you can both learn and grow in your faith and serve others.  He understood that we have all been given gifts and that we are called to share them with others so that they might bring honor and glory to God.  He understood the importance of not letting your nerves or inhibitions stand in the way of who God is calling you to be and how God is calling you to serve.

I will always remember Warren’s role in Easter worship and the ways in which it blessed me and as I do I will continue to reflect on the words of that song that he sang, on the powerful ways in which he lived his life, and on the power of the resurrection.

I serve a risen Saviour; He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He’s always near.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.
I know that He is leading, thro’ all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian! Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s