Happy week 13 of 2023.
I want to dedicate this blog to Dwight Hackett who left a beautiful legacy as a gifted musician, composer, and follower of Jesus. He might have gotten his final curtain call on March 17th, but as the saying goes, “The show must go on.” So, we, the ones impacted, get to share a piece of him with others by continuing his legacy of being a passionate musician who understood his gift and position as son and/or daughter in the earth. Amen.
I’m writing this after watching my uncle’s celebration service via livestream. I made the hard decision not to go to continue resting post-surgery. Music was his passion, with a French horn as his first instrument called to action. It was the French horn that gave him a scholarship and ticket into college. As you will hear today from some of his fellow bandmates, he was one of the best horn players they had ever played with. I didn’t experience that part of his story, but I did experience his piano playing and singing, and I’m so grateful for that. He was the best jazz pianist I had ever heard. On Ben and I’s fifth anniversary, we took a trip to California. Once we got there, I found out that my aunt and uncle were seeing my cousin who also lived in the area at the time. We got to meet up two different times, and at one of them a band was playing while we had dinner. It just felt like life couldn’t get any more perfect. The Lord had orchestrated family time that only could have been planned by the Divine. We all felt that it was a gift. I can still see his face, for he loved us and the music so much. Jesus gave us that, and I am eternally grateful. I could say so much more, but if I do the tears are going to start to pour. My heritage is full of musicians and vocalist, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.
Below is a link to his service. It’s mostly music from family, fellow bandmates, and his students that were compelled to share their gift with all of us. It will move your heart, for he moved ours.
These were the last pictures we got together at Thanksgiving last year. He was at peace.
As I was listening to my Bible app, the below story stood out to me. It seems there is something being highlighted about death and how they responded in the aftermath. Life just keeps happening, and you will see that in this passage here as well:
In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.
(That’s a short line of ascent if you ask me. The women didn’t get a lot of fanfare back in the day. 😔)
Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.”
-Numbers 20:1-13, NIV
I remember this passage from Sunday school. Let’s recap.
The Israelites were complaining again. 40 years of complaining—can you imagine? So, what do Moses and Aaron do? They went to the tent and fell facedown, and the presence of the Lord falls and gives them a directive to save the people. They go as commanded (so far so good), but then, the follow-through was modified. We don’t know the why behind this, and I’m not going to try and bring understanding to it today, however this is what I know. Moses had a long-standing relationship with the Lord by this point, and He asked him clearly to speak to the rock. Yet, when the time came, Moses struck it instead. He used force instead of his voice! How many times have we, in our frustrations with ourselves and others, used force to make something happen instead of using our words? I know I’m guilty. All he needed to do was speak and it would have been done. Our words have so much power, folks. Our tone, our vibration, our frequency is uniquely ours. Your voice matters. Your tone matters. Your delivery matters. Why Moses forgot this is a mystery, but I can see myself in this story too. It’s an “in our own strength” kind of living, and in this case, it became a fatal one.
The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there.” Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.
-Numbers 20:22-29 NIV
I think it’s interesting that the prophets get a heads-up of their future ascension date. Also, you don’t hear anything about aging or health concerns being the reason for it either. It was time, and so they followed the command and walked into eternity holding Jesus’s hand. This is how I see it anyway. It also makes me hopeful for my future story with Jesus and how He can choose to call me/us home. You see, home is our future in eternity. I believe we have a homing beacon drawing us towards our final destination throughout our whole entire lives. Flash back to the old movie and line, “E.T. phone home.”
This leads me to another passage to end this blog here today.
Now, I tell you this, my brothers and sisters, flesh and blood are not able to inherit God’s kingdom realm, and neither will that which is decaying be able to inherit what is incorruptible. Listen, and I will tell you a divine mystery: not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in an instant —in the twinkling of his eye. For when the last trumpet is sounded, the dead will come back to life. We will be indestructible and we will be transformed. For we will discard our mortal “clothes” and slip into a body that is imperishable. What is mortal now will be exchanged for immortality. And when that which is mortal puts on immortality, and what now decays is exchanged for what will never decay, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says: Death is swallowed up by a triumphant victory! So death, tell me, where is your victory? Tell me death, where is your sting? It is sin that gives death its sting and the law that gives sin its power. But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. So now, beloved ones, stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.
-1 Corinthians 15:50-58 TPT
I love that in both passages there was a garment removed and a garment exchanged.
“Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar.”
This was a shift in leadership, or mantle as some call it, and also a removing and transferring down into the next generation. A prophetic act.
“For we will discard our mortal “clothes” and slip into a body that is imperishable.”
One day, we will slip into indestructible, incorruptible, imperishable and immortal beings. Can you believe for that? I know I can and do. I’ve actually never been more confident of this very thing than I am right now.
“So now, beloved ones, stand firm, stable, and enduring. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.”
I don’t know about you, but this gets me fired up for our futures, ya’ll!
“Death is swallowed up by a triumphant victory!”
Dwight, WELCOME HOME!! He ran his race at his God-given pace. These passages above remind me that death has no sting like the gift of swinging into eternity. Death is a celebration, and it’s also an appointed time in everyone’s life. Dwight’s stride had a bounce to it and that’s the beautiful thing about life, for he was marching to the beat of his own eternal drum. In the video, they play When the Saints Come Marching In, and you can’t help but grin imagining this celebration within.
I want to challenge you this week to remember the blessings and to take some time to thank the ones who are still here that you love so very much. For every good and perfect gift came from above, from a HEART FULL of LOVE. This was a long blog post from my heart to yours, for I always have a lot to say when someone I loved passes away.
Thank You, Jesus. I didn’t know where we were going with this one, but You surely did, and it helped me find the truth which hopefully landed safely on reader’s hearts like a parachute. 🪂
Styx - Come Sail Away
Let’s keep gliding together,
Connect to the Mender
Be a Sender