Jim Hudson died this past Tuesday. On the way home from church this past Sunday, Jim suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He never regained consciousness and slipped away around noon, surrounded by his family. His death was a shock to them and to so many who knew and loved him.
Sunday morning he was in his usual place, taking care of us. A word of welcome, a handshake, a worship guide, and a smile were his tools. This kind and gracious gentleman, gentle man, served at Wieuca for many years. Often he was the first to greet a guest. Many of you passed by his station on your way in to worship. Choir members shook his hand as they entered the loft.
The men and women, who participate in this vital ministry of our church, faithfully serve before, during, and after our services. They help us create positive first impressions as they minister to those who walk through our doors for their initial visit. They are vigilant to guard our safety and security. They view the people who come not as a crowd but as brothers and sisters in the family. They assist in ways that many will never know.
Our teams of ushers and greeters are grieving right now. Jim was an inviting presence to them as well.
In Psalm 84, the songwriter wrote of the joy experienced in the courts of the Lord: “How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body, and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God … A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”
Jim was a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord. His absence this Sunday will be painfully noted. Our consolation is the certainty that he will celebrate his first Christmas in heaven. Jim, you will be missed.