THE REV’D DR. CLAUDE LANGTON CADOGAN, O.D., Hon. LLD.
105 YEARS OLD TODAY
It was Monday, the tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Fifteen, that, by the grace of God, Claude Langton Cadogan, a child destined to become a patriarch of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, was born.
Today, Sunday, the tenth day of May, in the year of grace 2020, the hearts and voices of members of his family and the wider church family on the mainlands and islands of the Caribbean and the Americas are lifted in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God, for each of the one hundred and five years of a life, so far blessed by God, and a life that has been a blessing to countless many.
Today, from the mountaintop of providence and blessed memories we look back with pride, full-hearted recognition and grateful thanks, on a life and a ministry so expansive, so multi-talented and so profoundly purposeful and committed to God— the life of a servant-leader, called by God for such a time as this.
In Ecclesiastes 9, verse 10, Solomon advises and encourages us with wise words:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
Uncle Claude, as he is affectionately and respectfully called by young and old alike, lived by this principle and it is reflected in the passion, the conviction, the discipline, the dedication, the sense of urgency and the compassion that have marked his life and his ministry. The words of Charles Wesley would have been a fervent prayer of his:
O Thou who camest from above, the pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love on the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for Thy glory burn with inextinguishable blaze;
And trembling to its source return, in humble prayer and fervent praise.
What a moving final moment, what unforgettable demonstration of mutual Christian love and respect we behold when we view the recording of Rev Dr William Wilberforce Watty and Rev Dr Claude Langton Cadogan, two past presidents of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, two giants and elder statesmen of Caribbean Methodism, earlier this year, giving a farewell blessing to one another as Dr Watty ended his visit to Jamaica and to his friend and on what he believed could be his last visit to Jamaica. The scene is reminiscent of St. Paul’s final farewell to the elders of the Church at Ephesus when he told them that they would not see him again and then he knelt down and prayed with them (Acts 20: 36-38).
Today we all give thanks to God for yet another year of life and of grace granted to Uncle Claude, His servant. We thank God for his keen mind, wise counsel, prayerful support and needful encouragement with which he still blesses us at 105 years old.
The journey of faithfulness to God is the mission in which we should always be engaged. This is the most important mission in life. It gives true meaning and guarantees real success in its fullness. And then, whatever our age we can join Uncle Claude and say, in the words of Charles Wesley:
My remnant of days I spend in His praise
Who died the whole world to redeem;
Be they many or few,
My days are His due,
And they all are devoted to Him.
The global pandemic, COVID-19, does not allow us to visit with him, in person, as some would have wished. Nevertheless, as a people who believe in the priesthood of all believers, let us all join on this anniversary day in pronouncing the priestly blessing on our dear Uncle Claude:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
[Numbers 6: 24-26 (NIV)]
HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE CLAUDE!
Prepared by The Rev’d Dr. Philip G. O’B. Robinson, O.D.
On behalf of the Jamaica Methodist District
May 10, 2020