Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Reverend Jesse Halsey | c1935

Like finding the focal point in adjusting binoculars is the way the author uses one word in this long Chapter in Hebrews that I have read as the morning lesson. That word is “once.” It seems to bring into sharp definitive outline three things—times, places, and persons. “Once every year, alone.” “Once at the end of the age.” “So Christ once for all.”

Yes, there are decisive times. On the fourteenth of October in the year 1066, William the Norman conquered England and within a hundred years made it half French in language. The process was long but the “once” was decisive—one day. The Constitution of these United States was adopted by a sufficient number of states to make it operative on Sept. 17, 1787. A definite date though to this day the Constitution has been growing and changing to meet human needs and conditions. “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide.” And though we speak of spiritual growth as something very indefinite, there come decisive days and hours in human lives when to hesitate is to be lost.

Significant places too, have a large part in human life and history. Some old trysting place, some village church, some country cemetery; we all have certain places of peculiar meaning and significance—“once into the holy place.”

And constantly we are impressed with the fact [that] there, some persons [who] are representative. The Queen of the Belgians, like Ruth, leaving her father’s house and kindred and religion becoming a real queen and lovely mother as she meets quick death seems to become the symbol of ten thousand vacationing motorists and thousands for a few days drive more carefully because of the tragedy of that young couple.

The Lindberghs in their tragedy are symbolic of all our homes, potential terror at the dooror actual. And in their long flights they epitomize the sublimate roving instincts of us all. If one had a gift of humor he . . . 

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