matt rhyne mars hill

Matt Rhyne’s Legacy

Watching the vids Travis Kessler posted while weeping… in this spot  (click link to jump to specific time), Levi Landis was shared our goodbyes to Matt. Then Matt shared his goodbyes with us before moving to Lake Placid.

I missed this night in person. I was away at college by then in the days before Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, and few of us has AIM/ICQ or email. I missed out in person on much of 4th Street years. I’m experiencing Matt’s goodbye for the first time… and a very fitting one.

Our motto was Mars Hill… where you are accepted. Matt taught us how to accept each other as Jesus did. My earliest memory of him was on the first night that I played on the worship team. My fragile heart at that point was terrified that my mandolin didn’t fit in with this crazy ensemble. I’d never played outside of school orchestra. Matt picked out what I added and gave me a look with the thumbs up. I felt him saying that I was accepted, wanted. It was a rare mature fatherly thing for him to do. I was not out of place, I fit right in.

It may be hard to accept all the rough times life has brought… but just 2 months ago I had a rare opportunity to visit with Matt. I just got to enjoy being with him. I saw how proud he was of what those there that day have become.

The song Matt played for us that night “I am accepted by the one who matters most” – speaks volumes to me about Matt right now. He is completely loved, accepted, and now free from the trials of life. He gets to see what an impact that he has left with us.

Many of us found God’s acceptance and love by hanging around Matt. To see so many of us still willing to go to great lengths for each other despite years and distance is a testament to the family and fellowship that we became then and continue in now.

I keep hearing “Let my songs ascend” and “Banqueting Table” (in Levi’s voice of course) on repeat in my head today.

Because Matt was willing to accept so many and so much, it made a way for us. Just look at our lives. Matt, and more importantly Jesus, is proud of us. The banner over us is love.

Let my songs ascend to Thy holy place oh Lord
Let them bring forth great joy on Thy warm tender face oh God
And may the words that I sing just be the fruit of the things
That you have truly worked into my life
Let my songs ascend to Thy holy place oh Lord

For I am my Beloved’s and He is mine
He brought me to His banqueting table and His banner over me is love, sweet love.
His banner over me, His banner over you, His banner over us, is love love love
We can feel the love of God in this place
We believe your goodness
We receive your grace
We delight ourselves at your table oh God
You do all things well
Just look at our lives

I’ve got the nature

We all were grew to accept each other with the Father’s love.  We broke dividing walls.  We lived in one accord, as family.  We still do.


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