When the Roll is Called Up Yonder
Connie and I just returned from my brother-in-law’s funeral in Wichita, Kansas. Greg Moyer was married to my only sister Suzan for over 51 years and was a faithful pastor for 29 years in McDonald, Kansas. Greg and Suzan leave a wonderful legacy of 4 sons and 10 grandchildren who are living for and serving the Lord. It was wonderful to see God at work in each of their lives.
Suzan asked each of her 5 brothers (Ken, Dave, Doug, Dan, and Richard) to participate in the funeral, and it was wonderful to reflect on Greg’s godly life. Greg will be greatly missed, but heaven has again become more precious with the homegoing of one of His Saints.
My brother David gave the message and referenced a hymn written more than 100 years ago by James Milton Black. Growing up, we used to sing it often. Black worked in the Methodist Episcopal Church, had a passion for young people, and taught a Sunday School class. One Sunday, when Black was taking the roll call, he did not hear a response from a teenage girl. Each child was supposed to recite a Scripture verse when his or her name was called. But it was her silence that made Black realize a lesson. He said, “I spoke of what a sad thing it would be when our names are called from the Lamb’s Book of Life if one of us should be absent.”
When he arrived home, Black tried to look for a song that would fit the thought of a heavenly roll call, but he could not find one. An inner voice seemed to tell him, “Why don’t you write one.” And that is just what he did.
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more,And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.Refrain:When the roll is called up yonder,When the roll is called up yonder,When the roll is called up yonder,When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,And the glory of his resurrection share;When his chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.[Refrain]Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun;Let us talk of all his wondrous love and care.Then when all of life is over and our work on earth is done,And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.[Refrain]
David ended his message with the reminder that roll call was sounded for Greg, and he answered that summons. What a blessed truth to know that Greg is no longer here, but he is there – in heaven – with his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
My prayer is that you will have that same hope and assurance.