Did you just see those three men? I can’t believe it. I said to them—“I can remember as if it had just happened”, I said to them. “I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”
Author: Peter Page 1 of 9
The opening chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is, sadly, perhaps best known today for being one of the battleground texts in the debate on human sexuality raging in many quarters of the western Christian church. And when the minutiae of the text become the subject of debate, the larger thrust sometimes disappears from view. So also, often but not always, here.
Jesus has now many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who carry his cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who desire tribulation. He finds more to share his table, few his fasting. All wish to rejoice with him, few want to bear anything for him. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, but few to drinking the cup of suffering. Many revere his miracles, few follow the shame of his cross. Many love Jesus so long as adversity does not befall them. Many praise and bless him, so long as they receive some consolations from him. But if Jesus should hide Himself and leave them for a little while, they fall into complaining or deep dejection.
But those who love Jesus for Jesus’ sake, and not for any consolation of their own, bless him in all tribulation and anguish of heart, just as in the highest consolation. And if it is his will never to give consolation, they would nevertheless always praise him, and always wish to be grateful.
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 11.1f
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 16:5-8 (NIV)
My family and I had an exhausting and thoroughly enjoyable time last weekend at Rugby Baptist Church. The congregation have now called me to the post of Associate Minister. We accepted with joy, excitement, and a deep sense of the Lord’s leading on this. As Michael Bochenski put it, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”