Steve Brown’s Letter on Chuck Colson’s Death
From the hopper of things I’ve wanted to post—the entire piece is over at Key Life Ministries:
Steve, why are you telling us this? Seems like you could talk about something far more uplifting and Christian than smoking. I’m not even sure you’re saved.
Yes, I am. Believe it or not, I’m making a point. It’s the same one that Paul made when he wrote to the Corinthian Christians about their obsession with “celebrity” leaders (“I follow Paul” or “I follow Apollos”): “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7).
I’ve read in more than one of the many tributes about Chuck that God has now said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I’m not going into it now (and I think I have here before), but that parable (in Matthew 25) wasn’t about the goodness of the servants who were praised; but rather, about their willingness to take risks with what God had given them. In fact, “good and faithful servant” applies only to Jesus. The rest of us are sometimes good and sometimes not so good…sometimes faithful and sometimes not so faithful. Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness has been “imputed” to our account and that’s the only way we are good or faithful (or, at least, in any way that matters).
It’s important we make sure people understand that point at the funerals of both the “giant killers” like Chuck and everybody else, all who are Home now.
Many mornings in my devotional time, I use an old liturgy from the Church of Scotland where there is this prayer: “And rejoicing in the communion of the saints, I remember with thanksgiving before Thee, O Lord, all those Thy faithful servants and those dear to me who are at rest in Thee. In particular, I remember before Thee…Keep me in unbroken fellowship with Thy whole Church in heaven and on earth, and give us at last to rejoice together in Thine eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ my Lord, Who liveth and reigneth and is worshipped and glorified with Thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.”
As I get older, more and more people are taken off my prayer list (I prayed for Chuck daily for over 30 years) and placed on the list to which that liturgical prayer refers. I’m thankful for them when they are still with us…and just as thankful for them when they’re Home.
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