Memoirs Of An Ordinary Pastor
August 22, 2008, 3:08 am
Filed under: ministry

I just finished reading a short book called “Memoirs Of An Ordinary Pastor : The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson” written by one of my former professors, D.A. Carson.  It was incredibly blessing, and I intend on commenting more on this in the near future.  However, I’m still processing a lot of it and I don’t have a whole lot of time over the next few days.  In light of this, I’d just like to share the last few paragraphs of the book that briefly summarize Tom Carson.  His ordinary life can serve as an inspiration to many of us, as it points not to his spectacular gifts or resume, but to the faithfulness and sovereignty of God :

Tom Carson never rose very far in denominational structures, but hundreds of people in the Outaouais and beyond testify how much he loved them.  He never wrote a book, but he loved the Book.  He was never wealthy or powerful, but he kept growing as a Christian : yesterday’s grace was never enough.  He was not a far-sighted visionary, but he looked forward to eternity.  He was not a gifted administrator, but there is not text that says, “By this shall men know that you are my disciples, if you are good administrators.”  His journals have many, many entries bathed in tears of contrition, but his children and grandchildren remember his laughter.  Only rarely did he break through his pattern of reserve and speak deeply and intimately with his children, but he modeled Christian virtues to them.  He much preferred to avoid controversy than to stir things up, but his own commitments to historic confessionalism were unyielding, and in ethics he was a man of principle.  His own ecclesiastical circles were rather small and narrow, but his reading was correspondingly large and expansive. He was not very good at putting people down, except on his prayer lists.

When he died, there were no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in Parliament, no attention paid by the nation.  In his hospital room there was no one by his bedside.  There was only the quiet hiss of oxygen, vainly venting because he had stopped breathing and would never need it again.

But on the other side all the trumpets sounded.  Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man–he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor–but because he was a forgiven man.  And he heard the voice of him whom he longed to hear saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.”


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so thankful for this post.

Comment by eujin

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