Friday, 22 February 2008

Those Who Honour Me I Will Honor,

I was thinking of the movie, "Chariots of Fire." It is a wonderful and inspiring movie. And a true story. One of the stories it relates is that of Eric Liddell, a Scot runner who passed up a chance at running (and very possibly winning) the 100 metres in the 1924 Olympics because he felt his Christian faith would not allow him to run the qualifying heats on a Sunday. He stood on this principle in the face of stiff pressure from others. He had much to lose.

I'm thinking of those within Anglican Churches here in Canada. In St. George’s, Lowville; St. Hilda’s, Oakville; St. Chad’s, Toronto; St. Mary’s (Metchosin); St. Matthew’s, Abbotsford; Holy Cross, Abbotsford; St.John’s Shaughnessy Vancouver; the parish of Bearbrook and Vars Southern Cone; Kanata Lakes Christian Fellowship; Church of the Resurrection, Brandon; St Alban’s, Ottawa, who are also standing for what they believe is right and refusing to compromise. They also would seem to have much to lose, at least in the eyes of the world.

It is difficult for someone such as myself, far removed from the heat of the battle, so to speak, to know what to say without sounding trite; without sounding like a mere spectator, observing from the comfort, protection and insulation of distance. I may be only as a face in the crowd in the coloseum watching the faithful be persecuted in the arena below. But I'm cheering for the Christians and not the lions.

Let me mention this . Of course we all know this familiar passage from Ephesians chapter 6 about the full armour of God. To me the important verse, the one I always remember, and the one I sense is often overlooked, is just before the various pieces of armour are listed. It is this:
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV)

"And having done all, to stand." The important thing for those enduring these attacks is to stand. Don't retreat, don't surrender, neither be too quick to attack. Stand.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.

Stand on Christ the Solid Rock. He is the best defence. Do not move from him, either forward or back, to the right or to the left.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. (Psalm 61: 1-5)

Eric Liddell did not back down. In the end, a teammate gave up his spot in the 400 meters so that he would have a chance at a medal on another day. Here is how the movie portrayed that race.

I also think it fitting the Bible verse that the American sprinter Jackson Schultz passed Liddell just before the race:
Those who honour me I will honour,... (1 Samuel 2:30b)

"Those who honour me I will honour," says the LORD

Take Care


prairiewords said...

FYI Church of the Resurrection in Brandon is a plant and not suffering the adjustment of the existing ACoC churches. We are also blessed in having +Malcol as our pastor.

John K said...

Thaks for that. I hope it is still OK to include you among those who are also, "standing for what they believe is right and refusing to compromise."

Kate said...

I'm on parish council at St. Alban's. Thanks for this.