This past Sunday the lesson I taught the 3rd Grade boys was in 2 Kings, chapter 5, the account of how God heals Naaman of his leprosy. After Naaman is healed, he goes back to Elisha and professes his faith in Jehovah, but he says something interesting. He explains to Elisha how King Aram worships a false god and that Naaman’s job obliges him to go into the temple with the king and bow before the idol. Naaman requests that God forgive him in advance as when this situation occurs, Naaman will bow, but the bow will be completely meaningless and merely a formality. The prophet Elisha tells Naaman that this is okay as he says, “Go in peace.” I found this highly intriguing. Here, we have a picture of how God expresses His love to us as it is displayed in His patient understanding. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t try to be like Him, it’s that we SHOULD strive to be like Him.. and above all HE IS LOVE! Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Devotion
There was a king with two sons. Twins they were, nearly identical.. well, hair and eye color was different, but on the inside (the part that matters most) they were identical. Mannerisms, humor, etc. there was no mistaking who their father was.
I’ve been reading G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy and must say it is challengingly edifying. So much I would like to share, but I’ll just stick to one thought… for now.
He speaks of how children are so full of life that they never tire of the monotony of a thing. Those who have children can identify with this. My 5 year old hears a joke that he thinks is funny and he will continue to tell it until the hearers are contemplating beginning a search for a tall precipice from which to jump. Yet he is oblivious and laughs just as hard the 150th time he tells the joke as he did at the first. This is because he doesn’t cease to be humored at it as an adult does. We grow weary with things and begin to take things for granted. The longer we live in this world, the more we take amazing things for granted. We take each sunrise as if it’s owed us, just assuming the sun will gloriously rise as the day before because that’s what the sun does. But Chesterton says, “It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again!’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again!’ to the moon.” We begin to say things are the way they are out of necessity and cease to see the hand of God behind it all. But Chesterton challenges us by saying, “It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them.”
I think Chesterton makes an extremely valid point. We have definitely lost our sense of awe at God’s work around us. We take things such as seasons, child birth, sun rises, solar eclipses, and all of the happenings of creation around us and we have reduced it to a cause and effect sequence. It may very well be true that the sun has always risen in the east and has always set in the west, but that is no guarantee that it will not reverse direction tomorrow. Yes, all daisies produce daisies, but why?! We say, that’s the way it is, but why? Why is it not some other way? Why such consistency? We must not lose the wonder we had at childhood upon first seeing these miracles, and remember that it is truly God that holds all things together and by Him all things exist.
“The repetition in nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE.” May we never cease to rise in praise to God as we behold His works and cry “ENCORE!”
Beginning the new year, I intend to institute “Imitation Tuesdays”. Every Tuesday I will post a section from “The Imitation of Christ”. This nearly 600 year old work is attributed to Thomas a’ Kempis (ca. 1380 – 25 July 1471), a Catholic monk affiliated with “The Brothers of the Common Life”. I say “attributed” as the oldest manuscript of The Imitation doesn’t bear the name of any author. Through the years about 25 different “authors”have been attached to the The Imitation, but Thomas wins out due to the literary style, Dutch idioms, and the preponderance of the modern devotion that was so apparent to The Brotherhood of the Common Life that the work contains.
The version I will be using is a translation from Latin to English by Richord Whitford in 1530 that has been edited by Harold C Gardiner, S.J. – copyright 1955.
This monk, venerated by the Church of England and yet to be declared a Saint by the Roman Catholic Chruch, displayed a passion for The LORD that we should all desire to be consumed with. May these “Imitation Tuesdays” be a challenge to us and may God use it to draw us closer to Himself.