Pastor's Corner

27 Jun
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mid-Week Challenge

One of the beauties of great literature is that once an author’s ideas have been transfer to paper they are forever a part of history.  I love reading the works of authors that lived long ago.  Their language, their perspective on their culture, the description of what they are experiencing firsthand is the closest thing we will have to a time machine.  Books bring the past alive! That is why I love the Gospels.  All four were written by eyewitnesses or are the stories of eyewitness to the events that are taking place.  They are reliable because they are not stories recorded hundreds of years after the fact but just a few years after the events happened.  Having a real world perspective on past events helps recreate the scene for the reader at any period in time.   We lose this unique telling of history when we try to modernize history based on present day sensitivities.  I was reminded of this earlier this week when I was reading about The Association for Library Service to Children decision to remove Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from their award that recognized notable works by U.S. children’s book authors since 1954.  Wilder is best remembered for her “Little House” books and TV show based on them. 

According to critics, Wilder’s books used words and scenes that could be seen as demeaning towards Native Americans and African Americans.  Wilder’s works are not the first to come into question.  Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare’s writings have also been criticized by modern readers as being insensitive or culturally offensive to certain groups.  But the removal of Wilder’s name from the literary award is new and unfortunately will not be the last to go.  I understand the feeling behind the decision but simply removing someone’ name does not remove the historical subject he or she was writing about.  When we ignore or remove these parts of our history we could be doing more harm than good. Our story makes us who we are as a people and as a country.  To be able to read about events and historical characters in a language they spoke is invaluable in understanding our past.  That is what is so great about the Bible.  It does not gloss over the mistakes and struggles of its characters.  As we read about their lives we see ourselves, the good and the bad.  We see the hardships, bad decisions, dishonesty and the fallout of their own making.  But we also see the grace and mercy of our Savior.  We see the need for our own redemption in each of their fallen ways.

I hope that by now, with history as our guide, we are better than those who came before us.  We indeed are better because we have their history as our teacher.  As Edmund Burke is given credit for saying, “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” Let’s make sure we give the next generation the same opportunities we had by not shunning our past, but growing because of it.  Only when we see our sin for what it is can we fully embrace the Savior who makes us whole.   

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians 2:1-2;4-5

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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