This is the pulpit of the 4th & Bois d’Arc Church of Christ in Pecos, TX, where I preached for sixteen years.
I presented my final sermon there on August 26, 2018.
The following is my final bulletin article as the preacher for the 4th & Bois d’Arc Church of Christ in Pecos, TX.
One of the most moving songs in our hymn books is entitled, If We Never Meet Again. The words and music were written by Albert E. Brumley in 1945. Brother Brumley was one of the most prolific songwriters in churches of Christ, with over 800 songs to his credit, including, I’ll Fly Away, which is one of the most-recorded hymns in history. Since its publication, If We Never Meet Again has been a staple in hymn books and a particular favorite among older Christians.
In this song Bro. Brumley captured the sentiment we all experience when we are about to separate from loved ones for the last time. Our hearts ache because of the impending separation, and our love for those we are leaving makes us yearn for the time when we will be with them once again. These feelings are especially deep when we have lost a loved one to death. Bro. Brumley’s song is particularly comforting on such an occasion.
The stanzas say:
“Soon we’ll come to the end of life’s journey, And perhaps we’ll never meet anymore, Till we gather in heaven’s bright city, Far away on that beautiful shore. O so often we’re parted with sorrow, Benedictions often quicken our pain, But we never shall sorrow in heaven, God be with you till we meet again. O they say we shall meet by the river, Where no storm-clouds ever darken the sky, And they say we’ll be happy in heaven, In the wonderful sweet by and by.”
The chorus says:
“If we never meet again this side of heaven, As we struggle through this world and its strife, There’s another meeting place somewhere in heaven, By the side of the river of life; Where the charming roses bloom forever, And where separations come no more, If we never meet again this side of heaven, I will meet you on that beautiful shore.”
For some, the words of this song bring back memories of loved ones, long-departed from life, whom we will never meet again this side of heaven. The faithfulness of these loved ones while they lived tells us that we can only see them again if we, too, are faithful to the Lord. Therefore, when we sing the words of this song, this truth should move us to greater diligence in our Christian walk.
There is no more comforting thought than the promise of scripture that the redeemed will have a sweet reunion in heaven at the end of time. In 1 Th. 4:16-18 Paul said, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up other with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” We may never see one another again before that time, but the joy of that meeting will far outweigh the loss we feel in the meantime. This truth should compel us to take the words of this song more seriously than we may have before.
As we consider the words of this song, we are compelled to take stock of our lives. Are we living in such a way that we may truthfully sing, “If we never meet again this side of heaven, I will meet you on that beautiful shore”? If so, then we may sing with all the fervor within us, and in full confidence that it will happen. If not, then we must repent and turn back to the Lord before it’s too late. Life is too short, and eternity too long, to risk missing the great reunion by the side of the river of life.
Until we meet again, may the Lord keep you in His watchful care. God bless you!!