Friday, January 6, 2012

“Little is much when God is in it” and June Reuber

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Today’s Blog Post

“Little is much when God is in it” and June Reuber

My post today is about a song and an old friend. I have just learned that a very dear friend of ours has passed away. This old friend is June Reuber.

In 1974 when I first stepped into the brand new role of being a Pastor and leader of the small church in Walkerton, Ontario, John and June Reuber were there to support and encourage us. And that encouragement was for me in particular as June was the main musician of the church.

One of the responsibilities as a Pastor was to lead the service. Part of that leading was to lead the Hymns and singing that the congregation did each week.

I loved singing but usually just made a lot of noise. I could hit some of the notes but for the most part I had learned to lip sync.

June Reuber knew immediately that she could help me. As I stood and gave the signal between her and me, she would immediately begin playing the piano with the introduction to the piece. She would then also start the song with her voice. I joined in. And with her hearty playing of the song we were singing, people never heard me.

There were many struggles in those early days with the confidence that I needed to lead a congregation. I am sure that June knew that as well as the rest of the congregation. I was scared silly many times as I looked out over the audience. I would look for two people’s faces in the church, my wife was one and June was the other – then things were okay. Both were encouraging me with a smile.

Often June would sing a special number in our church services.

One Sunday she sang a very old song that touched me deeply. I had been struggling with some real issues of confidence. I was so ready to quit at times… and I think she knew it.

June began to sing “Little is much when God is in it”. I broke when I heard her sing these words. This song and that day was for me.

The congregation in those days averaged about 75 people and on a big weekend when the audience swelled to 100 or more the old church was full. And it was on weekends that we were full that I nearly died of fright. The insecurities were more than anyone could know – but June knew.

After three wonderful years in Walkerton I was invited to become the National Leader of the Children’s Ministry for the Pentecostal Crusaders in Toronto. The new job was to lead about 14,000 children and adult leaders in the national weekly program for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. In this role also I was involved in helping in leadership with the National Youth (Teenagers) program. And then finally I was also involved in the National Sunday School Program as a leader as well. The Youth program in those days reached out to about 40,000 teens and the Sunday School to about 250,000 people.

For many these are just numbers. For me they were about a quarter of a million reasons to be scared skinny!

The last Sunday in Walkerton I asked June to sing that song again just for me. I cried deeply and with joy as I realized the truth of what was being said through the words.

Within about three months I was speaking to audiences that were more than 1500 at a time, still scared but remembering June’s voice and the song that she sung so beautifully.

When we left that task and headed to Hong Kong for the new role of leading the Youth Ministry for that huge population, June’s song was there with me again. Her song was there as we studied the Cantonese language. As we took part in the huge outreaches where more than 25,000 kids and adults attended… her song was there each time.

And today as I am retired now working quietly at the new task of Chaplain to our MPPs in Ontario, June’s song makes even more sense. Each little prayer and each small contact is much when God is in it.

Thanks you June for your ministry to Alida and me. Truly “Little is much when God was in it”.

And God bless the Reuber kids and grand kids as you say Good Bye to mom. I am thinking today that heaven is ringing with that old song again…!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Little Is Much When God Is In It
1. In the harvest field now ripened
There's a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

2. In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus' love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.

3. Does the place you're called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He'll not forget His own.

4. Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

5. When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
"Welcome home, My child well done!"

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There's a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus' Name.

Lyrics: Kittie Louise Suffield
Music: Kittie Louise Suffield

Little Is Much When God Is In It
Kittie Louise Suffield (1884–1972)
This hymn was written circa 1924 by Kittie Suffield, wife of Frederick W. Suffield. This couple committed their lives to God at a church in Ottawa, where A. J. Shea was the pastor. The couple later went into evangelism and they sometimes worked with their former pastor’s son, George Beverly Shea.



melanie waters said...

I loved this story
it made me cry.
What a beautiful memory.....
although there is sadness in the fact that someone dear has passed..what a lovley memory for all

Margaret Oakey said...

Thanks Murray. This child rises up and calls her blessed. Thanks Mom for your example of a life dedicated to Jesus.