Fit for a King

I arose early to watch the wedding of Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton.  I readily concede that I was fixated, my American republicanism notwithstanding.  I know we broke ranks over two hundred years ago; no matter, I wasn’t going to miss this.

The Anglican ceremony was a far cry from the “no-frills” mode of worship we apply in our Baptist fellowship, though I know of nothing in the Scriptures that would prohibit differing aesthetical forms from being used for God’s purpose.  It was certainly grand, as is God!

Those Pedestrian Blues

     I used to walk.  I still do, but I used to do some mighty serious walking in my earlier days.  I would walk for ten-to-fifteen miles when I lived in Boston.  I would walk for eight-to-ten miles during the first several years of my tenure in the Philadelphia area. 

Those were halcyon days.  Long strolls, sometimes feverish, sometimes leisurely, as I worked through personal demons, conversed and communed with a close but now departed friend, and absorbed the elegance of Memorial Drive in Boston or Kelly Drive in Philadelphia.

A heart condition has severely inhibited my walking pleasures.  I must now be more circumspect as to when and for how long I walk, and even where, avoiding uphill trajectories being a near-necessity. 

A Faithful Rendering

     I hate pictures of myself.   Some people film divinely, with radiant smiles and easy deportment.  My countenance always looks twisted and contorted.  I prefer the disembodied vocal tones of radio.

I suppose those photos capture my inner tensions, thereby offering a less-than-flattering, yet faithful rendering; still, I would rather be heard or read – Yes, faithful renderings too … or so I trust!

What I want, though, is for something else to be manifest to those who encounter me.  I want my life to make known Jesus Christ.  I want people, when they encounter me, to see Jesus.  But do they?

A Gathering for the Ages

    God is good.  He gave us the privilege of enjoying Himself.  He determined that it was not good that man be alone, so He provided the companionship of woman.  And, the need and pleasure being pronounced, He made us social creatures, knowing the reward of family and friends.

He did a fine job!  It simply isn’t His fault that we made a muck of things.  Sin’s greatest casualty is the fracture of relationship.  We found ourselves severed from our fellowship with God.  That was the first and fundamental disservice we did to ourselves (and to God!).

Praise Him!

    I sat for almost five hours waiting for someone to arrive.  I was prepared.  I had brought my book bag so that I could do work and catch up on some reading.  It was a pleasant enough day and music, both classical and jazz, was a finger-tip away.

I was still waiting at twilight.  It was a beautiful spring night, and two things occurred to me.  The first was a poem by William Wordsworth, the great Romantic poet of the early 19th Century.  I quote:

A Clear and Complicated Contrast

  “We Know in Part and We Prophecy in Part” (1 Corinthians 13:9)

1939 gave cinema-lovers two magnificent films of enduring worth:  Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.  They have two things in common:  They were both directed by Victor Fleming and were filmed in glorious color.

1943 gave us Casablanca, featuring Humphrey Bogart, exquisite direction from Michael Curtiz, and the finest in black-and-white cinematography.  The mere notion of a colorized version of this classic is noxious to any aesthetic integrity. 

The Luck of the Irish Is Really a Welsh Blessing!

  I bet it passed you by and it you didn’t even notice!  March 1 came and went and that’s all there was to it.  It’s a dirty rotten shame, that’s what it is!

March 1 is St. David’s Day.  David is the patron saint of Wales, just like Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  Everyone knows about Patrick, but few are familiar with David.

Everyone gears up for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.  The Irish seem to be better at public-relations than their Celtic kin from Wales; still, David deserves better.

We Are Supposed to Be One People

           How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity (Psalm 133:1)

It is the paradox of civilization:  Centuries have gone into making the world that we know today, necessitating a healthy respect for those who have labored and an appreciation for their labor’s fruit, yet recognizing its finitude and ultimate demise.

It is true of God’s creation.  We are given to know that God created the heavens and the earth, but those very same spheres, both celestial and terrestrial, will one day be consumed by fire and replaced by an entirely new created order!

Kingdom Concerns

    A Christian should be defined, at least in part, by someone who sees beyond his or her nose.  A Christian, you see, is one who is concerned with, motivated by and lives for, a reason far beyond one’s individual welfare.  A Christian is Kingdom-oriented.

God loves you and me.  Jesus plainly said that we needn’t worry about our lives because God, who cares for the sparrows, loves us even more (Matthew 6:26).  God’s love separates Christianity from other religions.  He cares, plain and simple.

His love and providential care for us should never be in question.  It is an indubitable proposition in Scripture and is the witness of the historic and universal Church down through the ages.

Moving Forward

  The notion of the “good-old-days” is a misnomer on two counts:  First, they may have been good, but they are now old, in the sense of being past; second, they weren’t always or necessarily good so much as we simply remember them as such.

Our nostalgic yearnings have become a highly lucrative enterprise, and I’m not certain that they are built on anything other than cheap and tawdry sentiment – and sentiment, let it be understood, is not the same thing as true depth of affection.

Our capacity and penchant for remembering is not always concentrated upon the good times.  The memory of bad things can be seared in our souls, giving our lives a rancid flavor due to bitterness or trauma or just plain disappointment.

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