In Rememberance of
Rev. Dr. Richard Lin 凌忍揚博士
Rev. Dr. Samuel Tang 唐佑之博士
(1925 - 2015 - Eternity)
We all have our stories of the first time we met these two faithful servants of God. We have all been touched by their humanity, the display of love and the act of kindness. In fact, we can’t look forward without looking back at their lives. Nine decades of resounding spirits on earth seem like an eternity. To live these years in the grace of God, by the grace of God and for the grace of God, however, is a true rarity. Both born in 1925, Rev. Samuel Tang and Dr. Richard Lin had the same kind of humble beginnings. At the time of the war-torn China, their early years saw the uncertainties facing countless families. But there came the moments when God touched their hearts with His blessed assurance and called on their services until the very end. At one time or another, we were all their students and congregations; they our teachers, our friends and our fathers.
Sadness is the constant at the passing of our beloved. But this time, nostalgia seems to be awkwardly out of place. It is with great conviction that we know they are with our Heavenly Father at a place far, far better than this one. Many have said that God has called upon them once again to sing, to praise and to preach. We can see the light shining through the stained glass at the place highest - upon their faces and their smiles. We can hear the echoes of every note and every measure. And they’ve once again started their life-long pursuit to honor our Lord the Almighty One.
Their whole life is an elegy. But yet, their stories cannot be gathered in a flash. There was a story that Dr. Lin told - with the same passion that bonded his soul with ours - about the poorest of the poor walked up to the altar and offered God whatever was left in the pantry at her broken dwelling place. Then with tears swelling up in his eyes - the same tears that glue his heart with ours - he would conduct When I Kneel at the Manger Tonight to a crowd that ponders and reflects. And it was then when we finally understood his words:
Music is from God; Music is for God.
Over 65 years of ministries, dozens of publications, hundreds of worships and sermons, and most importantly, thousands of warm embraces from these two loyal servants of God later, we’ve finally reached the end of an era. They might have doubted their mortality - but never the journey. They taught us to maintain our innocence in this age of anything but. And for that, we are forever grateful. Rev. Tang and Dr. Lin have been the bright lights in our ministry, and more often than not, in our personal lives. In a span of seven days, these lights seemed to have finally left us gently and quietly. All that remains is a legacy for which they never asked and a jubilation they would’ve contested: for they came to us humbly, left us humbly - the same way they lived every minute in between.
We celebrate their lives, offer our heartfelt condolences to their families and pray that we could all be part of their ministry until we reunite.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.