Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

20 July 2010

The Uncommon Reader - However...

As much as I loved this book, there was a sad moment for me just before the end. It was just a moment. But for that moment my thoughts turned away from the delight of this tale to things more serious.

In the story the Queen has just turned 80 and is considering her mortality.

In the darkness it came to the Queen that, dead, she would exist only in the memories of people. She who had never been subject to anyone would now be on a par with everyone else. Reading would not change that...

In death, the playing field becomes level. It doesn't matter if you are the Queen or a commoner of any standing. At this point the Queen in the novel is thinking about how she will be remembered after her death. But I couldn't help thinking beyond reputation and remembrance to something much more significant - standing before God on the Day of Judgment. Death is THE equaliser. And it doesn't matter what we have read or not read, who we are (king, queen or commoner) or what we have done. We all stand before God having fallen short of His holiness. We are all equally made low. The only thing that truly matters is whether we have stood before God in repentance and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord.

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One.
"Let us break their chains," they say,
"and throw off their fetters."
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
"I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
He said to me, "You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.
Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2

2 comments:

Mrs. Edwards said...

Meredith,
I loved this post. Sometimes, even with my assurance of eternal life with Jesus, the thought of my mortality and that of my loved ones makes my stomach tight. And yet, how much worse it would be without Christ!

I read Jeremiah 16 this morning and shivered to realize that most of us are like Israel, asking in effect "Why this judgment? What have I done? What iniquity? What sin?" It sends me to my knees: "Let me see clearly my sin that I might repent!"

Meredith said...

Thanks Amy. I know that reflecting back on the Israelites thing. I remember once reading through Numbers in a large chunk and thinking, "Come on you Israelites. You've not long been rescued miraculously from Egypt. How can you not get this??" and then realising that oh yes, I too have been rescued miraculously through Jesus death on the cross and I seem to be giving little regard to God's grace in my life. It is a very sobering and humbling experience.

But yes, I was quite aggrieved at the character of the Queen at that moment. I just wanted to take her by the shoulders and give her a good shake - which would have landed me in prison for treason - and said, "Don't worry about how you will be remembered in history. 'All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field...The grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of God stands forever.' Worry about your standing with God which will last for eternity."

Find I am feeling a greater urgency for people to know this these days. The most important thing to know in this life.

God bless you Amy. (And I do hope you like the book!)