Pastor's Corner - February 18th, 2022
Looking back into scripture during the time of the Patriarchs and the time prior to the Patriarchal period, we see that the lifespan of man was significant. Men like Adam, Methuseleh, Enoch, Noah all lived incredibly long lives. When God saw what man had become in Genesis 6:3, He came to the conclusion that He would no longer contend with the long lives of men, limiting their lifespan to 120 years. Men continued to live long lives during the Patriarchal period, with Abraham living to 175, Isaac lived to 180, and Jacob died at the ripe old age of 147. But as time went on - the lifespan of man normalized, leading David to conclude in Psalm 90:10, "The days of our lives are three score and 10, and if by reason of strength 80 years, their boast is only labor and sorrow, for we are soon cut off and fly away."
We recognize this is the generalized natural lifespan of man, the time which has been ascribed to us, and sometimes we get more, but there are also times in which we get less.
This was all to painfully clear this week with the announcement of the death of Mr. Shawn Cortelyou. Shawn pastored the Muncie and Elkhart, Indiana congregations, and had served as the Camp Director at Camp Woodman for 8 years, impacting many, many youth throughout those years.
Shawn died unexpectedly in his home this past week at the age of 50 leaving behind his wife Beth, 3 daughters, and two congregations, who are all grieving his loss.
When it comes to untimely and unexpected losses like Shawn's, it can be challenging to understand... especially when someone doesn't get the 3 score and 10 which David talks about in Psalm 90.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1st Thessalonians 4:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
As difficult as it is to love someone that we love, or to face the loss of a loved one - there is beauty in the promise of God. That He has a plan for all of mankind, and that in order for that plan to take place, this physical, corruptible life ends, so that the next phase of His plan can take place. As 1st Corinthians 15 discusses, the natural body is first, then the spiritual body.
I take heart in knowing that Shawn ran his race well. That he has now finished his race and awaits the resurrection, and that there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness. Please keep his wife, daughters, and the congregations in that area in your prayers for comfort and peace, and for the manpower shifts needed to ensure the congregations in those areas continue to receive care.