Friday, 7 March 2008


Over breakfast the girls and I were talking about the difference between Christians and non-Christians. I don't know how we got onto that.

Anyway, it seems to me (as I explained to the girls) that the main daily difference between Christians and non-christians is thankfulness, or the lack thereof. Christians give thanks to the Lord Jesus for his goodness. Non-Christians are either not thankful, or they understand that they have been blessed and don't know who to give thanks to. Another word for this is sin, which Christians still suffer from and indulge in most grievously, but they know that they have been forgiven. And they know who to give thanks to, namely the Lord Jesus, who loved us and gave himself for us.

I believe that Paul is making this sort of point in Acts 14, in this ripping yarn (Luke is good at writing ripping yarns, isn't he!):

8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, [2] 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

It occurs to me that Roman Catholics are not able to be thankful, because they fear God as judge and can never be certain that they truly are forgiven. Hence their prayers are full of pleading and anxiety, and sometimes they cannot bring themselves to address God directly but seek to go to his 'mother', or some other dead person. This is unwise, and only adds to their guilt before the Lord Jesus.

Anyway today I am giving thanks for my three beautiful girls, the bursting health of an early autumn garden and the genius of Fifi in giving that garden shape. A well constructed garden is like a slow seasonal fireworks display in many shades of light green.


Murray said...

If Jesus viewed Abraham as an alive person, why should we view Mary as a "dead person"?

Gordon Cheng said...

Abraham was (and is) alive in the sense that he awaits resurrection, as we see from the the context in which Jesus said those words. He is currently dead in the sense that he is dead.

Murray said...

Oh, OK. I didn't know you were into "soul sleep".

It's all good.