Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died over the weekend after a lengthy battle with glioblastoma, personally organized the details of his memorial services, and Thursday’s ceremony in Arizona concluded with a powerful gospel message.
The Rev. Noe Garcia, senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, shared a clear gospel invitation at the conclusion of McCain’s memorial service, drawing on words from the beloved senator’s daughter Meghan McCain and biblical passages from both Romans and John.
In this loss and in this sorrow, I take comfort in this: John McCain, hero of the republic and to his little girl, wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth. Today, the warrior enters his true and eternal life, greeted by those who have gone before him, rising to meet the author of all things.
The pastor went on to encourage mourners to remember Meghan McCain’s stirring tribute to her father, dwelling on the fact that — today — the Maverick is “in heaven with God the Father and Jesus the Son.”
“You see, Sen. McCain professed Christianity,” Garcia explained, “and here’s the hope in what Sen. McCain believed: He knew Romans 3:23 — ‘For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ — [and] he knew Romans 6:23 — ‘That the wages of sin was death but the gift of God was eternal life through his son Jesus Christ.’”
He continued, “So the hope we have is the good news that Sen. John McCain believed this passage from John 3:16 — ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’”
Proud of and grateful for my friend Noe Garcia, pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, preaching the gospel so well at the funeral of the great Sen. John McCain. pic.twitter.com/cagGE2qAMm
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) August 30, 2018
Even in the midst of sorrow here on earth, Garcia comforted those left behind, asking them to find solace in the fact that, because of his faith, he is now in heaven with the Lord.
“That is something to find comfort in,” he said. “That is the reason Meghan can write these words so beautifully.”
In his closing prayer, broadcast on national television, the pastor explained why Christians “mourn differently, with those that have hope, because Sen. John McCain believed that you sent your only Son to walk this earth and live a sinless life, to die on the cross for our sins, for the things we deserved.”
“He believed that Jesus Christ was put in a tomb and he rose again and he defeated death — that is a reason to celebrate,” Garcia prayed. “That is a reason for us to have comfort. It’s in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”