The Shepherd Calls - Word&Way

The Shepherd Calls

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Five hundred years ago, a clergyman named Martin was reading his Bible and felt something was wrong. What he had learned in church and seminary did not jive with what he read in his Bible. “Perhaps, I am missing something,” he thought.

Wade ParisFor Christmas 1942, my parents gave me a book, “Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible.” For the first time, I could read the Bible for myself. You can well imagine a first grader would have difficulty reading the Bible. This book was written with children in mind, and I could read and understand.

A partial eclipse of the moon occurred in April 1948. That event prompted various discussions in the small town where I lived. The old-timers sitting in front of Tidwell’s store seized this occasion to tell the children about a solar eclipse during their childhood. One old-timer said it got so dark the “chickens went to roost.” Since that group was prone to exaggerate, I have wondered about the “chicken-roosting” story all my life.

Wade ParisA steeple is perhaps the most distinguishing architectural feature of churches. When you see a steeple, you think “church.” There was a time when churches were at the center of villages. And the steeple, pointing to heaven, indicated this community belongs to God.

Wade ParisDuring the 1970’s, I was pastor of a wonderful young church. The membership was composed of young families with lots of young children. It was an ideal opportunity for an energetic young pastor like me.

However, I quickly realized we had a problem. I could not accommodate all the pastoral expectations of the congregation.

She’s a new mother; she is also an older mother. Because of her age, she worried herself silly during her pregnancy. Her physician quickly picked up on her anxiety and did her best to assure her that all was well, even ordering some tests that were only marginally needed. Near the end of her pregnancy, the doctor said with a smile, “I hate to tell you this, but you have had a perfectly normal pregnancy.”

All of Heaven was astir. The pearly gates were being polished. The golden streets were shined to shimmering. The angelic choir was practicing. Even the angels, wearied by time, were excitedly moving about. The normally quiet angels were busily conversing with one another. Jesus was returning to Heaven after a 30-year assignment on earth.

Wade Paris“Brother Wade,” the voice said on the phone. I recognized the voice.

“Why, hello, how are you?’

He never answered how he was; instead he moved immediately to his reason for calling, “Mom is about to lose her car.”

Is Valentine’s Day a Christian holiday? Well, yes and no. No, it is not a day on the Christian calendar like Good Friday, Easter or Christmas. In that sense, it is not technically a Christian holiday.

Wade Paris“[Lord] when I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

These words from the Psalmist are certainly applicable for us today. If we didn’t already have sufficient reasons for concern, recent events have certainly given us cause.