We got off to a great start this morning at Lancaster Bible College. Today through Thursday I am speaking in chapel for the Lloyd Perry Preaching Series. Dr. Perry published many books about preaching, taught homiletics for years at Trinity Seminary in Deefield, IL, and was one of the most influential preaching professors of the last forty years. After he retired from his years of teaching at Trinity, he and his wife moved to Pennsylvania where he finished his career teaching at the Bible college. After his death a few years ago, his widow endowed the Perry Preaching Series. They asked Erwin Lutzer to speak this year. He couldn’t do it, but recommended me instead. So that’s how I got here.
Before my first message this morning, I met Mrs. Perry who is in her 80s and is quite spry and in very good health. When I mentioned that Dr. Perry had been the interim pastor at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park in 1975-76, her face brightened immediately and she remembered the church very well. We chatted about that for a bit, and I told her that when we re-laid the Calvary cornerstone several years ago, Bruce Lavenau wrote the history of the church and ended it with Dr. Perry’s favorite benediction. She was delighted to hear that and commented that at Dr. Perry’s final service before Don Gerig came as pastor, Jim Warren surprised them by having the choir perform a choral rendition of the benediction.
She couldn’t remember the exact wording of the benediction and evidently didn’t have a copy of it anywhere. I told her that I had a copy of it on my computer taken from the message placed in the cornerstone several years ago. So tomorrow morning I will be presenting her with her late husband’s benediction, which she treasures but cannot completely recall.
Here is the benediction:
May a dying Savior’s love, a risen Savior’s power, an ascended Savior’s prayer, and a coming Savior’s glory be the abundant portion of all those who have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. May the peace of God be our portion; may the God of peace be our partner both now and until we meet again.