He is well over 90 and in the last few years has become increasingly debilitated.
Though married for over 50 years, he and Edna had no children.
Yet Tom ran a very effective youth program for many years which has been influential in the life of many.
Tom Crowle was a fine though not perfect man
I am aware that times he could be extraordinarily difficult.
We all can!
Things don’t always go the way we want
because they can’t
and we don’t control our destiny.
If we think that security will come from developing mechanisms
to control everything about our life
then death disabuses us of that notion.
we are reminded that our security comes from Christ alone.
This Tom knew, and took seriously.
The image that our true life is like being grafted into a vine
is a good one.
We draw our life from being in relationship with Christ.
As all our securities,
our parents, our wife, our work, our health, our youth
are stripped away
we need to realise that only Christ will bring the sort of security
that we crave for.
A funeral might remind us of this reality.
We might also note
that there is an invitation
to respond to Christ NOW
rather than leaving it to the very end of our life.
Tom, knew something of that reality.
He has begun to respond to Christ
He recognised many years ago
that being grafted into Christ
was the way to go.
He was keen to share that with others.
To some young people
he offered a gift for which a number are profoundly grateful
To others it was a hand of friendship
it was rolling up the sleeves and getting alongside
To all of us today
as a death causes us to reflect on our own mortality:
How some things are more important
and some things less important
when we come to weigh up our lives,
his death speaks to us and invites us to respond to Christ now.
If today you hear this invitation
then open your heart to receive the gift of life
that Christ is offering you
not just in death.
But in life.
Here, Today, Now.