Summary: This sermon was for a member’s homegoing celebration. Mr. Roosevelt Cook had a long bout with illness and he died recently. I choose to not do lengthy sermons for occasions such as this. But I did encourage the family and community to strive for peacef

27 September 2003

Funeral Services for Mr. Roosevelt Cook at Saint John A. M. E. Zion Church, Georgiana, AL., Pastor Harold O’N. Simpson, Officiate and Eulogist

“For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. And a considerable number was added to the Lord” (Acts 11.24).

The Life of a Good Man

There is quite a lot to be said about a man who is considered to be a good man. It could be said a man is a good man because of what he knows. It could be said that a man is a good man because of where he is or where he’s from or where he goes or where he knows to go. A man is a good man or could be said to be a good man because of how he raised his children, loved his family, loved his wife, loved his community, loved his church, and loved his God.

In today’s scripture Luke describes to us a situation that resulted following the death of Stephen by stoning. Barnabas, whose name means “Encourager” or “Son of Encouragement”, was such a man. We see him first in Acts 4.36,37 where he sells his land and gives to the apostolic cause for the continuation of the church. The next time we hear of Barnabas is in today’s scripture where we see him being sent to Antioch to encourage the believers, who had received salvation through faith by grace as he observed, to remain with the Lord with purpose of heart. We see him further going to Tarsus searching for Paul, finding him, and bringing him back to Antioch. Once they get there they would spend an entire year teaching in the church at Antioch where they were first called Christians. The last time we see Barnabas is in Acts 15.35-39 where Paul and Barnabas separated because of a very sharp contention. How sad it is for us, saints of God, to argue with each other to the point that we must separate ourselves or someone has to do it! This good man full of the Holy Ghost and of faith now leaves the pages of God’s word because of an argument and a choice to not resolve it. What arguments have we chosen to not resolve? What hostilities have we chosen to continue? What bitterness have we declared we will cling to until our dying day? Is it really worth it? What would Barnabas have done differently? What would he had said differently? What would he not said? No matter how we feel about someone, relative or not, we must choose the way that is right even if that means going against that relative. We must get over petty differences and embrace each other in times that call for us to stand together. And if our views are that different and a consensus can’t be reached we need to seek God’s way.

How often we allow one bad thing that a person does to change our opinion of them forever, regardless of all of the good they’ve done. How often we never say anything else about that person after such an incident. Nothing else is known about them. Nothing else is spoken about them. Nothing else is written about them. Saints of God, let us not forget this good man, Roosevelt Cook who I am told enjoyed coming to Saint John A. M. E. Zion Church, Georgiana, AL. Don’t let what has been said or done today be the last thing we say or do about Roosevelt Cook.

Prayer: Father help us to remember those men who are considered to be good men, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. Help us to walk after their examples as they walk after the “Best Man”. Amen.

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