Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thankful for the Family

The world today has no respect for family. Even many Christians have strayed from God’s plan. Why must we all get a degree? Why must we all earn a wage? Why is it that even Christians put more stock in where people went to school and what employment they have had, than in the job they have done raising a family?

That is not God’s way. His plan, for both men (1 Tim 3:1-5), and women (1 Tim 5:14), emphasizes family.
The world today has no respect for God’s family. The church and the family, the bedrock institutions in days gone by, are openly mocked today.

But God’s household, his family, the church, is important. The truth has been entrusted to it (1 Tim 3:15). The church is the fullness of Christ (Eph 1:22-23). It is through the church that the wisdom of God is made known (Eph 3:10). It is through the church that God is glorified and will be glorified eternally (Eph 3:20-21).

When we are in need, it is to our families that we should turn. We should turn first to our immediate family and then to our spiritual family (1 Tim 5). I have travelled to many parts of the world, and in every place I have gone I have found brothers and sisters. I have enjoyed sharing in worship and work with these brothers and sisters. From the frigid prairies of Western Canada to the mountains and deserts of southern Africa I have found family, people who honor my father, people who embrace me because they too are his children.

I am glad to be a part of God’s family. I am glad to serve with God’s family. I am thankful for God’s family!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Invictus Revised

William Ernest Henley authored the short poem “Invictus.” The last four lines are the only ones known these days.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

I first heard the lines on the old television show “Room 222.” I only watched the show a few times, and limited exposure perhaps has helped me remember what I did watch of it. During the episode that contained the poem, Mr. Kaufman, the school principal, hears complaints about the English teacher, Miss Brown, so he goes by the classroom to investigate.

She is an older teacher, one he had studied under when he was in school. When she sees him enter the room late, her mind goes back twenty years. She thinks that he is still her student. She berates him for being late again, and orders him to stand and recite Invictus.

It was an episode about the tragedy of dementia. It was also an episode about the error of Invictus. Miss Brown was not the master of her fate. She was not the captain of her soul. None of us is (Gal 2:16; Rom 14:7ff).

So I offer you my own revised version of the closing of the poem.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
Christ is the Master of my fate,
The Captain of my soul.