In Memory of Harry Reeder

This letter was written by Dr. Peter Lillback shortly after the death of a dear friend, Harry L. Reeder III.

Friends of Westminster,

I write to you resting in the precious promises of God to His people, that from death there is life, in sorrow there may be joy, and in all things there is love which works toward good.

On May 18th, 2023, a dear friend in the Lord and a champion of His gospel, Harry L. Reeder III,  passed from this earthly life into the marvelous light of glory. He has gone to a home not “made with hands,” but to a home that is “eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:2).

Harry was a cherished friend of Westminster, having studied at Westminster in the 70s and later served on its board beginning in 1986. Anyone who enjoyed his company and witnessed his ministry saw a truly earnest worker for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, this truth was conspicuous both in word and deed. Harry once said these words in a message here at Westminster,

“The Spirit of God needs to fill our life. It is Him in whom we live and move and have our being. A spirit-filled preacher is all about Jesus.”

Friends, let Harry’s word’s be instructive for us that, wherever we are led and whatever we are called to endure, let us be filled with the Spirit of God. In life and in death, let us live unto the Lord, for He has restored our souls and guides us on the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3). Let us faithfully follow our Lord Jesus Christ through the earthly gates of Jerusalem, and we shall ascend with him through the heavenly gates of the new Jerusalem, a “house eternal in the heavens.” As the proverb says, “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Prov. 4:18).

May 18th, 2023 marks the day, a day known by God before all ages, where Harry’s glimmer of faith has turned to the bright fullness of sight. The God whom Harry proclaimed faithfully in his life-long gospel ministry, has received him into His presence. While he is not with us, he is, indeed, with the Lord.

Join with me in prayer for the Reeder’s and Briarwood Presbyterian Church,

“Our most merciful and blessed Father, we thank you for the promises of the gospel given to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. From His death, we have been given life abundant, from His sorrows, we have been given joy, and because we have been loved, we can love. Blessed is the name of Jesus. As we rest in these eternal provisions, we ask now for provision in these circumstances, that the love of God in Christ would be graciously displayed in the Reeder’s, and that the saints at Briarwood Presbyterian Church would, this Lord’s Day, be comforted by the hope of life portrayed in the gospel. Every good and perfect gift comes from you, O God, and so we ask that you incline your ear to our plea. We pray these things by your Spirit, and in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

In Christ,

Dr. Peter A. Lillback
Westminster Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president and professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary. He also serves as the president emeritus and founder of The Providence Forum and senior editor of the new Unio cum Christo: An International Journal of Reformed Theology and Life.

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