DayBreaks for 06/28/12 – The King’s Good Servant
Sir Thomas More – the King’s Good Servant
(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)
Thomas More was the Chancellor of England, but found himself imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to obey the crown over a matter of conscience. His daughter, Meg, visited him and begged him to change his mind and save his life. All he would need to do was take an oath of allegiance to King Henry VIII. More refused to do so, saying that if he did, he would betray his conscience and Jesus.
As portrayed in the film, A Man for All Seasons, Meg argued that it was not Thomas’ fault that the state was mostly bad, and if he chose to suffer for it, he would be making himself a hero. More replies: “Meg, if we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we’d live animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose to be human at all, why then perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.”
As Brennan Manning wrote in The Ragamuffin Gospel: “In 1535 More went to the scaffold cheerfully in the royal freedom of a Christian man. He prayed briefly for God’s mercy, embraced the executioner – who begged his forgiveness – confessed his Christian faith, and called on all present to pray for the king, saying that he died ‘the King’s good servant, but God’s first.’ His last words were a joke about his beard, which he arranged on the block so that it should not be cut, since his beard at least had committed no treason.
“Thomas More, a man of the world in secular dress living in a secular city and surrounded by family, possessions, and the duties of public life, was faithful. Not because he was without faults and sins; he had them, like every one of us, and confessed them often before his death. But with all his weaknesses and flaws he made a radical choice to be true to himself and his Christ in the supreme test of martyrdom.
“In 1929 G. K. Chesterton predicted: ‘Sir Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the greatest moment of dying; but he is not quite so important as he will in a hundred years time.’ His life is a timeless statement – it is possible to live in this world soberly, honestly, unfanatically, unpietistically, seriously and at the same time joyfully: faithful. What is the message of this man’s life? Make a radical choice in faith, despite all your sinfulness, and sustain it through ordinary daily life for Christ the Lord and His kingdom.”
Chesterton was right in what he said about Thomas More being more important now than at the moment of his death. I doubt that the world has ever been in greater need of men and women who go against the grain of popular culture, who refuse to slide mindlessly into compromise and the easy way through life. Thomas More is an example of faithfulness – uncompromising faithfulness. How about your life? Stop for just a few moments and search your heart – when is the last time you compromised your principles, your ethics, what you believe to be true – just so your life could be a bit easier and less troubled?
God saw. But He also sees every time that you do stand strong.
It is time for men and women who wear His name to stand up and be counted. Can God count on YOU?
Matthew 25:21 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Our age demands great courage and faithfulness. Let us live up to the challenge set before us and may we be people upon whom You may count as Your faithful witnesses! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda! If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org. The budget for this water system is $8300. Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated! They ALL make a difference!
Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home. You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!! We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission. Donations are tax deductible for 2012. If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.
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