Week 3 May 2023, Devotion Part 1
Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them… 2 Corinthians 6:17
Honor the king. Honor all men. Give honor to whom honor is due. As obedient subjects of the Son who has established His Father’s reign in our hearts, we take Peter’s apostolic admonitions seriously. But do they put us in a bind when we must weigh the pros and cons of “attachment” or “detachment?” Interceding for a nation’s drought-stricken region, we clearly ally ourselves with its fervent believers. What do we do about its friendly agnostics and atheists? Form business partnerships with them? Marry them? If this sounds preposterous, consider that Christians – nominal or not, the Lord knows – have long formed such attachments. Witness the fallout in the form of desperate prayer requests when the cost of detachment from godly counsel hits home. (Part 1 of 2)
Comment: On November 24,1992, Queen Elizabeth II was honored at London’s Guildhall in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her Ascension to the Throne. In her speech she referred to recent events as part of an “annus horribilis.” Three of her four children were headed for divorce, and just four days earlier a fire had raged through her beloved Windsor Castle. My “horrible year” was 1994, when the Northridge earthquake made our home uninhabitable for six months, and a beloved daughter’s husband coldly walked out on her. Everybody, I dare say, has an annus horribilis memory of some kind, some with hellish consequences. Who hasn’t heard of nasty child custody battles and lasting, toxic family rifts? Note the sarcasm in the well-known idiom, “Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels.” Hatred unchecked by accountability before God not only lusts for revenge, but also loves rubbing salt into the heels’ wounds. Thankfully, Christ’s powerfully redemptive love allows for newly blended families to flourish and for scarred children to grow into well-adjusted, productive adults. I’m confident that many of you can relate to my deep gratitude that joyful memories keep emerging from every “jubiilans annus” our gracious God grants us!
For some reason, I suddenly wanted to know what the monarch would say in her Christmas speech one short month later. This is what I heard, “Curiously enough, it was a sad event which did as much as anything in 1992 to help me put my own worries into perspective. Just before he died, Leonard Cheshire came to see me.” Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS, would claim the life of the celebrated RAF dam-buster pilot on July 31 that year. Remarkably, he had founded the Cheshire Foundation that built and operated homes for the disabled. It started when the Baron took a dying man into his own home and soon 23 more received care there. Today these model residences for the disabled are located all over England and overseas. The Queen noted that he bore his terminal illness with “fortitude and cheerfulness.” In fact, her visitor didn’t mention it at all, “but only spoke about his hopes and plans to make life better for others.” This is how the Queen’s Christmas address ended, “He embodied the message in those well-known lines, ‘Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in one’s own.’”