Friday, March 02, 2012

Chris Drager: A Tearful and Joyful Tribute

drager

Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of His godly ones.

This afternoon I received word that our dear brother in Christ, Chris Drager, passed away from this life into glory. When I received this news I was, frankly speaking, numbed by the report. I need not here repeat the details of Chris’ longtime struggle with cancer, but it is sufficient to say that his passing was not a surprise – yet despite this, I was struck by the news of his passing. My response can be understood in view of David’s own despair over the dwindling number of faithful men in this world:

Psalm 12:1 Help,[1] LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.

In his passing, Chris has gained Christ – but I feel a great loss in his parting. Though I did not know Chris for long (during our six years in Minnesota), I must say that this dear saint is one of the most humble, gentle, passionate, and faithful servants I have ever met. When I had the chance to meet with Chris, along with other men in the ministry, I remember having an in-depth discussion about matters of theology and Christian practice. What I remember distinctly is the humility and grace with which Chris handled these discussions. Moreover, he expressed a great desire to embrace more than theological head-knowledge - he had a pressing desire to know and love Christ more fully through all that he learned. His unassuming manner revealed that precious commodity of humility which, sadly, is becoming quite rare in this loud and brash culture of pop-christianity and celebrity-evangelicalism. Chris was no celebrity-pastor, instead he was a faithful and passionate follower of Christ, husband, father, servant, pastor, and friend; and I can say that even my brief encounters with him revealed all of this rather persuasively. He is dearly loved, dearly missed, and is one of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:38).

May the Lord raise up more men like him.

Finally, we should remember by contrast, and with much sorrow, that when those who have no hope perish we say that they are dead. But when the saints of God pass from this life, we say, with much joy, that they sleep in Jesus.[2]

Therefore, to our dear brother, Chris Drager: rest well in our Savior.


[1] Too often it is easy to read through the psalms without appreciating the sense of zeal and urgency that is expressed by the psalmist. The beginning of Psalm 12 is yet another example of this. The Hebrew word for “Help” is הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה (Hiphil Imperative > יָשַׁע ). David’s “request” is neither simple nor casual, but is given in the imperatival form; thus, his cry is an urgent one that is given in a great sense of distress. When David says “help” he is really saying “help!!!!!” as an urgent plea.

[2] 1 Corinthians 15:51