From the Schoolhouse
We were locked in mortal combat.
He was just a wisp of a boy, and he did not know I was unbeaten. Unbeaten in 15 years.
We sat opposite each other on the edge of a lunch room table. A covey of kids had gathered leering over our shoulders like they were staring at a barnyard cock fight. I was confident when he hurled the challenge. I rolled up my sleeve and waited for him to do the same. His hair was slicked back, and his eyes sparkled as if he knew something I didn’t. I ignored it and remembered all the challengers I had stiffed over the years. I was ready.
Someone in the crowd yelled go and our arms charged. I was used to this first shock when the muscles in the forearms stiffened and screamed. He met my early thrust with a quiet vengeance; his smile puckered and proud. I squirmed a little and tried not to show concern. My arm was going down in slow motion, a surrender I resisted uncomfortably. Within seven seconds it was over. We stared at each other. The crowd hushed…
And then we all laughed, rose, and trotted out of the cafeteria. I was beaten but comforted by all my students as we strolled back to class and another lesson on the Executive Branch.
From the Pulpit
Beginning this Sunday, I will assume the mantle of tour guide. I remember many years ago in 1993 leading a group of history lovers to the ancient city of Ephesus. Paul labored there for three years and became intimately acquainted with its foibles and possibilities. He knew of the renown library of Celsus and of the arena that still stands today mentioned in Acts 19. During the New Testament period, Ephesus was the second largest metropolis with a residency of 250,000.
So, get your walking boots on and let’s travel to Ephesus and walk in the shadow of Paul down Marble Street.
From the Pew
The pews were silent today. The expressions of joy when singing a hymn, the thirst for a sip from Heaven’s cup, the warm handshakes with friends not seen for a week–all muffled beneath the snow. The pews were silent today.
But wait, for I do hear voices from the past barely heard but strangely still present. They speak from the pages of the church’s history. Mrs. Annie Taylor, a resident of Drummondtown, smiles with satisfaction at the success of her original gift of $1500 (worth $48,000 today). Her only guiding stipulation when she gave it on December 3, 1849, was to use the money to build a Baptist church in Drummondtown. And though the pews are silent today, somehow if you listen carefully you will hear her expressions of thankfulness for congregations that have come and gone through the decades.
Sixty-three years later the church waited with high expectations as Dr. R. H. Pitt, the senior editor of the Religious Herald rose to the pulpit to dedicate the new sanctuary. He and Dr. F. W. Boatwright, President of Richmond College both challenged the congregation to pursue the work of the Lord in this new and impressive edifice.
Yes, the pews were silent today, but even in silence voices can be heard.
I hope everybody stays warm and safe. I’ll see you all soon at church.