Archive for the ‘honor’ Category

22:4 Cinderella Story

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Bathilde

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4.

Bathilde may have been the original Cinderella. Born into a noble family she was captured and sold as a slave to the French court. Serving there as a kitchen maid, tradition says she handled herself with such dignity and modesty she attracted the notice first of a prince and then of the king. Eventually she became Queen of France, and after the death of the king, became regent for her son. Because of her bitter taste of slavery, she sought to ease and limit the practice, offering new life to many slaves by buying them and setting them free. A woman of faith, she spent the last years of her life in a convent.

Bathilde did not voluntarily humble herself, but allowed grace to work in her situation. Jesus, by contrast, willingly humbled himself. Highest and noblest, he stooped to be lowest. He even identified himself with criminals. In his agony, he feared God, and said, “Not my will but thine be done.”

As a consequence, in a far greater way than Bathilde, he freed people from slavery–slavery to sin. He became poor so we might be rich. He was dishonored so that we might become partakers of glory. He died so that we might have eternal life. Everything now belongs to him. He has the name above all names. He has the power of a resurrected life.

18:16 Unusual Gift

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

John Leland, whose gift was worthy of a president

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.” Proverbs 18:16

One of the most unusual gifts in American history brought a Baptist pastor before a president. The Baptists had been much persecuted in the colonies and the president had befriended them. As the pastor brought the gift down from New England, cities full of people turned out to see it, and he used the opportunity to preach the gospel to them.

The pastor’s name was John Leland. The president was Thomas Jefferson. The gift was a giant cheese, weighing 900 pounds made by the women of Cheshire, Massachusetts.*

Jesus brought a far greater gift before a far greater ruler. The gift he brought was his own blood; the ruler was God the Father.

*This, and many other anecdotes appears in my book The Archbishop Who Killed a Man.

9:10 Wisdom in Fearing God

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
King George III. Portrait by Allan Ramsay.

King George III. Portrait by Allan Ramsay.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

George III, the British king against whom the United States revolted, suffered periodic bouts of insanity, probably owing to porphyria, a disorder in which cells fail to make the hemes that give blood their color. George, however, was a Christian. The following anecdote shows him wiser than many a more “normal” king.

One of his first acts after his accession to the throne, was to issue an order prohibiting any of the clergy who should be called to preach before him from paying him any compliment in their discourses. His Majesty was led to this from a fulsome adulation which Dr. Thomas Wilson, prebendary of Westminster, thought proper to deliver in the Chapel-Royal. Instead of thanks, Wilson received from his royal auditor a pointed reprimand, his Majesty observing, “I came to chapel to hear the praises of God, not my own.”

In this George was like Christ Jesus, who lived to bring honor to the Father. The result, according to the Apostle Peter, was that God honored him. “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (2 Peter 1:17)