Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Tribute to God and Rod Toews

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

I have been dreading and looking forward to this coming Sunday for almost nine months, ever since Rod showed up in my office that fateful January day, sat down and said, “We need to talk!”  I gulped and sat down, knowing what was coming.

That day Rod told me of a prompting Dot initially had, but he confirmed: That in the Fall of 2014, his ministry tenure here at PCC would come to a close.  We talked for a half hour about particulars but to be honest my mind was not engaged.  I finally voiced what was stirring within me.  “Rod, I knew this day would come, and you are at least a year early!” (We had an agreement that we would visit this reality when Rod turned 85!) “Honestly though, I cannot imagine this place without you!”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that no one is indispensible to the mission and ministry of PCC, that all of our pastoral staff (and all of our people who occupy the pews) are merely stewarding the opportunity to join Jesus in his love for and labor for His church. I get that.  It’s just that I have learned so much from this amazing man. The Bible passage that is preeminent, in my opinion, describing Rod’s life, is Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8 is such a rich and forgotten charge to us regarding God’s measure of an impactful life. What does the Lord require (the Hebrew word means to examine or to seek--“What is God seeking from you?” Micah is asking.) Don’t pass over those traits too quickly…pause and reflect with me:

  • Do Justice: To treat every person equally, regardless of social status or ethnicity.
  • Love Kindness: To never give up and love, with scandalous proportions-- grace, being nice and mercy.
  • Walk Humbly: To know God intimately, depend on Him desperately and be attentive to what he desires and loves.

A life fueled by God’s power and devoted to justice, kindness and humility, this is a significant life in Heaven’s eyes. I imagine in Heaven’s picture Bible there is a face that appears next to this passage and it is the face of Rod Toews.  I have witnessed this man live these traits so vividly and so well.  And on Sunday, I will have the honor of witnessing Rod finish well with one last service at PCC where we will endeavor to honor him and his wife Dot.

Please plan on joining us as we celebrate the Toews in all three gatherings and have a picnic lunch and program to honor Rod and Dot. We get very few opportunities to have living memorials, most of the time we voice tributes this grand to significant people in our lives at their funerals.  What a tragedy.  Come this Sunday and celebrate with us.

I love being your pastor!