Wednesday afternoon, February, 27, members of the Gordon College community—students, faculty and staff— gathered in the A.J. Gordon Chapel for a time of prayer, following the death, earlier in the day, of Professor David Lumsdaine.
Dean of Chapel Greg Carmer offered the following prayer:
Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
Precious, in your eyes, Oh Lord, is the death of your saints. We morn today the death of one of your saints and your friend and brother, David Lumsdaine.
Our hearts are heavy as we to try to take measure of the world of which David is no longer a part. We grieve that his days on earth are over because it seemed that he had so much more to do.
It feels wrong that our classrooms will no more know the voice of one so gifted in teaching. It feels wrong and one with so much life and love to give has lost the chance to give it. It feels wrong that the sacrificial gifts of his time, attention, affection and friendship should be stolen away from those to whom they mean so much.
We are filled with sorrow because we know that he will no longer know those things that brought him joy on this earth: conversation, teaching, connecting with friends around the globe, serving, music, worship, prayer. We feel sorrow for our selves for the loss of his companionship.
Yet, our sorrow is seasoned with the sweetness of knowing that David’s life pointed to a greater reality: that in Christ we have new life, that in Christ we are members of one body and belong to one another, and that in Christ a life of sacrifices made in love, both big and small, receives as it’s reward the fullness of your glorious presence.
May we take courage from David’s example, even as we comfort one another in his absence. May we imitate his offer of self to others, his patience in prayer, his faithfulness in friendship, his long suffering in what he was asked to bear, and above all, his faith that tethered him to a hope which is now more fully realized.
Into thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant David Lumsdaine, now departed from the body. Acknowledge, we, humbly beseech thee, O Lord, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. (Book of Common Prayer)