Bush family pastor delivers the homily at funeral

Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson Jr. spoke at the funeral service for George H.W. Bush.
12:59 | 12/05/18

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Transcript for Bush family pastor delivers the homily at funeral
Almighty god did. All comfort console Lewis. Of old life street than us of all love inspire us. To love you and a love those issues and our way. Men. Well quiz BC. It is tremendous honor to follow these speakers and an especially someone who my car so much our 43 president. It's there. Your. Father always welcomed by business and never made me feel rushed and always said thank you for coming. Never made me feel like I was going on too long your mother. Usually said good sermon to loan. I got your email me. Your lot like your mother who. Ladies and gentlemen. Children of god. When death comes as it does to a soul the life is changed. Not in this. And the way we live our lives. The decisions we today. The service we render. Matter. They matter to our fellow human beings. To this world that god has. Given to us. And they matter to god. In few people have understood this as well our live their lives is accordingly. As president George Herbert Walker Bush. To her what I said live did. Not earned dead or strive to achieve it it was his natural to him as breathing is to each of us. President Bush was a good man. A decent man and a godly men. Full of grace and love and equality. Of absolute necessity to enter the kingdom of god humility. Grounded and a desire to serve as god and all god sent his way. And I know this. Because for nearly a dozen years up my wife Laura and our children and I. We have laughed with him we have fist with him. President Bush brought out riding infidelity. We had that pleasure is well the Secret Service was behind us he was it full throttle assault many of them reaching for what I thought wore protective. Armor but then I realized as they follow the president they were actually. Crossing themselves. We've been blessed to share meals and two years in moments of silence and prayers in times of great strength in times of great weakness. Never. Did not want us. That I witnessed any day. But care and concern. For those around him. The job of a pastor or priest got him on a rabbi. When dealing with someone he or she is called this error. Is to call own them. To look to god. To do the right thing. To serve others. And to law and President Bush made my job so easy. Our lesson from the Hebrew scriptures remind us that god is lying. And the president reflected that white his whole life through. He wants that I'm a man who sees life in terms of missions defined the mission is completed. We were called with the white when he reminded America and her citizens of his mission and ours to be points of life with but one name. To leave our world better than we found it. Have the political cartoon of the 41 president I keep it in my guests with care pictured. Big ears. He's a sitting in his death is looking at his watch and he's saying himself. Communism is dead the wall was down apart tide is falling Mandela is free the Sandinistas or else did. Germany is reuniting the cold war's over. I returned my calls and heck it's not even once stopped. We sometimes forget all that President Bush did for us. In large part because he preferred to shine and not appoint himself. To shy and others. Every years ago President Bush gave me this Platt. And all the bats a note. We're about. A good friend gave this to me some years ago it may be of help to you in some way. It reads simply. Preach Christ that all time us up. If necessary use words. It remains on my desk as a reminder. That faith means more than words work. Jesus Christ. For George west was at the heart of its faith. But this was a deep faith get a generous pay. A simple faith in the best sense of the word. He knew. And lived in jesus' two greatest commandments to love god and love your neighbor. The president logged in serve not just some but all that god sent his way. He lived is on adage that tolerance is a virtue not a vice. He respected and befriended Christians of every denomination as well as Jews and Muslims and buddhists and seat. His comrades were from every nation and race. Yes he was a Republican. Offer him political parties. Were but a line in the sand to brush away and times of the greater good. Of working toward his goal for all of us to be that kinder and gentler nation. The gospel that dean Holler at this reference a moment ago reminds us. The Jesus told his followers to be the light of the world. So that the world to turn their hearts toward god and toward others. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven. And so was President Bush. His wife was defined by his faith in his service. That are worthy of all those made in God's image. In September of 1990 President Bush spoke to those gathered outside those doors. For the dedication of this great cathedrals. Any voided inside to that magnificent rose window right there from the outside. And he spoke these words from where weeks now stand. The rose when the high above seems quiet conform with to some perhaps. But when we enter we see it back lit by the side. It castles in astonishing splendor and reminds us that without faith we too are but stained glass windows in the dark. The president understood. That even in the darkest of nights. Things can be transformed it handed over to the redemptive power of the almighty. No one on that first Good Friday expected Easter Sunday. But it came. They came because the light that brought creation into being also brought life from the grave. We call that resurrection. Only days ago. I was normal. Along with members of the president's staff. His outstanding memorial medical team. So many friends. Sully. Who I believe has gotten more press than the president in the last few days. Loving members of his Fam way. Who called in. Who spoke within throughout the day. And as our 43 president just said inspired his last words words of love. Sitting with us was someone the president like to cause little brother. James Baker and his wife Susan. Does this have there been wonderful hugs and kind words throughout the day kisses throughout the day. Toward the end sector baker an hour sitting on a sofa next to one another few steps away he whispered to me. You know that meant changed my life. A bit later secretary baker was at the foot of the president's debt. In toward the end. Jim Baker robbed and stroked the presidency. For perhaps half an hour. The president smiled at the comfort of his dear friends. Here I witnessed. A world leader. Who was serving. A servant. Who had been our world's leader. There what came to mind. Which Jesus. When that last night before his own crucifixion having said everything there was to say. He wrapped a towel around his waist and without words. He watched his disciples feet. As Jesus finished he said. I've set an example for you. Do as I have done. Serve one another. By this the world will know your my disciples. If you served and if you love one another. At the end. We all melt. We all placed our hands. On the president. We set our prayers together. And then we were silent. For full long measure. As this man. Who changed all of our lives. Who changed our nation. We changed our world. Left this life for the next. It was a beautiful again said. It was a beautiful beginning. For a moment. But a moment only that deer point of light we know is George Herbert Walker Bush dimmed. But it now shines brighter than it ever before hands. And now this godly man this. Service. This child of god. Is in the loving arms of Barbara and Robin and the welcoming arms of our lord who embraced him with is divine love. Some have said of the last few days this is an end of an era. But it does not have to be. Perhaps it's an invitation. To fill the hole that has been left behind. The president so loved his church and rug the episcopal church. He's so loved our great nation. He so loved you and his friends. He so loved every member of his -- way. But he was so ready to go to heaven. And heaven was so ready to receive him because. Top do you love live those two great commandments. If you want to honor him and if you call yourself a daughter or son of god. The love god. Love your neighbor but here's mood greater mission on planet earth. My homage. Is it heaven as perfect as it must be. Just got a bit kinder. And gentler. Leaving behind that hole for you and me to fill. How. Preach priced. At all times. If necessary. Use words. So Mr. President. Mission. Complete. Well done good and faithful servant. Welcome to your eternal home. We're ceiling and visibility. Are unlimited. And life goes on. For better. A man.

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