Dr. John S. Whale, a distinguished Congregational historian and theologian of international repute, lived in our world for a century; 1897-1997. The New York Times recognised him as “a genuine master of the pulpit, possessing great dramatic gifts, a lucid mind and the authentic accent of authority.'' He survived two world wars and lived through one hundred years of extraordinary change. During his latter years he was wont to refer to something he classed as ‘a modern habit’. He described us as “apt to scurry round taking photographs of the burning bush from suitable angles instead of taking our shoes from off our feet because the place whereon we stand is holy ground.” William Barclay [1907-1978] described his peers as apt to relax comfortably “and talk about theories of atonement, instead of bowing down before the wounds of [Messiah]”.
I was reminded of a documentary I had seen in which two 21st century, teenage girls were invited to experience a teenage night out in the 1960s. They were delighted to ‘dress up’, but shocked to discover their precious phones had yet to be invented! How could they enjoy a night out which they couldn’t document for social media? I marvelled when they found it liberating not to have to worry about ‘capturing the moment’ every few minutes; I felt so sorry for this generation!
Do you see yourself in any of these images? Are you running around, checking things from every angle, or theorising about doctrine, or hung up on getting a good reaction from social media? Where is the concentration of your heart? Yahshua, Anointed Messiah, Emmanuel demands, by His sacrificial love, all of our heart. He should be first in consideration. He is beginning and end, Head of His Body, centre of all. His reality is not in snapshots but personal connections. It’s not in learning about Him, but knowing Him. Even a lifetime will not be long enough to get to know Him completely, but we expect to continue our quest in eternity. Allocate some regular ‘getting-to-know-Him’ time. Don’t be satisfied with other people’s pictures.