Selling our soul to highest bidder

We need to be reminded lest we forget, writes Ivan Grindlay.

How many remembered the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the weekend just past?

If you overlooked it, the Christian churches of the city combine this coming weekend in the Dunedin Town Hall to celebrate the extraordinary victory achieved in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

There life dawned through death: victory from despair, light from darkness, hope from hopelessness.

Of course, churches remember the death of Christ regularly in "the Lord's Supper'' ... lest we forget (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

In this way, true followers of Jesus are regularly challenged about their commitment to the Saviour who made them His possession through His own blood.

As many believers around the world are realising, there is a cost to being a follower of Jesus Christ. But since Christ suffered for us, setting us an example, so we are called to suffer (1 Peter 2:21; cf.2 Timothy 2:12).

Then Passover follows, when Jews celebrate the exodus from Egyptian bondage and God's judgement on Pharaoh and his gods.

Yet, sadly, that nation is still in the bondage of unbelief for rejecting their Messiah (John 1:11; Romans 11:11,25-27).

How sad that Passover will be observed with fervour, yet He who came from God to be their "passover lamb'' will not be known, or remembered (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Scarcely will Passover be past when the "tangata whenua'' will gather to remember our Anzacs "lost'' in two world wars - the price our nation paid for freedom.

What a rich heritage we enjoy because of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.

How we need to be reminded ... lest we forget.

These treasured milestones are all remembered with poignancy because we so easily forget.

My concern is that, morally and economically, we are selling our soul to the highest bidder, but, like the price for our dairy products, the bid is becoming increasingly paltry.

Do we need to be reminded that true wealth is not determined by things we possess?

The Bible says that he who loves wealth is never satisfied with his income (Ecclesiastes 5:10); that whoever trusts in his wealth will fall (Proverbs 11:28); that treasures stored up for ourselves on Earth will decay and be the pursuit of thieves (Matthew 6:19-21).

I note that the police are not doing so well bringing thieves to justice.

"It's so easy to let our heritage go,but what do we have left?''

Do you worry about life's basics - what you will eat, drink and wear?

The birds don't sow, reap or store away in barns, yet God feeds them.

How much more valuable are you than birds?

Worrying won't add a single hour to your life (Matthew 6:25-27).

The Bible goes on to stress that our heavenly Father knows what we have need of, and asks us to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and these things will be added''.

We choose to believe our politicians' promise of a better day ... provided Europe doesn't stockpile its dairy produce, China doesn't slap new taxes on our timber exports and government subsidies don't shut us out.

We import the wealth of the nations through immigrants and promote a university education, provided our students can find jobs the immigrants haven't found first.

How we exult over scientific breakthroughs - a cure for melanoma and life on Mars (perhaps), yet as I recall the events of Christ's crucifixion so long ago, I think of the mathematical improbability of so many prophecies surrounding his death coming to pass.

There are at least four in John 19 alone, confirming the authenticity of His credentials as Son of God.

When will we learn?

How often do we need to be reminded that "a wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones? - that a man is praised because of his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised'' (Prov.12: 4,8); that "godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we will take nothing out, so we should be content with food and covering'' (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

When did we forget that "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes''? (Prov.12:15); that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death'' (Prov.14:12).

We need to be reminded lest we forget.

Our recently deceased cricket hero, Martin Crowe, may have found the answer, because his cancer caused him to stop and examine himself.

I suspect that his earthly achievements now pale into insignificance.

It's so easy to let our heritage go, but what do we have left?

Ivan Grindlay is a retired elder of the Caversham Community Church.

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