[forthright] When Faith Goes Deep/Long Live the King!

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 13:49:10 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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When Faith Goes Deep by Tim Hall
Long Live the King! by Paul Goddard
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COLUMN: Heavenly Connections

When Faith Goes Deep
by Tim Hall

Mary is beginning to rethink her relationship with
John. Though they've been dating for several
months, she sees little evidence of commitment on
John's part. He enjoys taking her to the movies,
out to dinner, etc. But when Mary talks about
their future, he changes the subject. A shallow
relationship is not what she has in mind.

Does it surprise anyone that Christ seeks
relationships of depth? Simply being with the Lord
now and then isn't what he's after. Evidence of
that can be found in Luke's gospel.

The first hint can be found in Luke 5. Before
Peter became a follower of Jesus, his boat was
transformed into a floating pulpit so that the
Lord could address the crowd on the seashore. At
the close of the lesson, Jesus asked Peter to
"Launch out into the deep and let down your nets
for a catch" (Luke 5:4, NKJV). Peter balked at the
idea of a carpenter giving advice on fishing to a
professional fisherman. When he did what the Lord
requested, however, he discovered the wisdom of
deep commitment to the Lord's commands.

In the next chapter, Luke recorded portions of the
Sermon on the Mount. Jesus closed his remarks on
that occasion with a story about two builders. The
wise builder was the one "who dug deep and laid
the foundation on the rock. And when the flood
arose, the stream beat vehemently against that
house, and could not shake it, for it was founded
on the rock" (Luke 6:48). The other builder was
not so diligent. He failed to dig deep into the
earth, and his house crumbled when the storm hit.

In Luke chapter 8 we read Jesus' parable of the
sower. Good seed was cast in every direction, but
only one type of soil produced acceptable results.
For a time it appeared that the soil in stony
places might do well. Matthew's account of this
parable, however, reveals the critical problem:
"Some fell on stony places, where they did not
have much earth; and they immediately sprang up
because they had no depth of earth" (Matthew
13:5). Those results were short-lived, however:
"But when the sun was up they were scorched, and
because they had no root they withered away"
(Matthew 13:6). The seed on stony places failed
because "they had no depth of earth."

The Bible has no extended discussion on what is
meant by "deep faith." But is it really so hard to
figure out? Does anyone really have difficulty
determining whether their faith is shallow or
deep? How much time do we spend in Bible study,
meditation, and prayer? Who influences my values,
my behaviors, my very thoughts? When others
observe my life, do they see Christ, or only
occasional hints at his presence? It's not hard to
know whether my faith is shallow or deep.

Fishermen who ply the deeper waters tend to catch
more and bigger fish. Houses with foundations laid
deeply into the earth generally survive the
tempests. Farmers who plant their seeds in soil
that will nurture deep roots will reap generous
harvests. And Christians who spend time deepening
their relationship with the Lord will be eternally
rewarded for their efforts.

How deep is my love and devotion to Christ?

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COLUMN: Up for the Task

Long Live the King!
by Paul Goddard

"Britain is an island in the Ocean." Bede, A.D.
731.

In 332 B.C., Pytheas of Marseilles was the first
to write about this island in the Atlantic Ocean.
His account was followed by Julius Caesar's
spellbinding reports of the Roman Legion defeating
the Celts in 55 B.C. The island received its name
from this Roman conquest, for Britannia is Latin
for "Land of the Britons." During the decline of
the Roman Empire, Britannia was once again subject
to invasion. This time the invasion came from the
barbarians of the North Sea. Many of these
Germanic invaders made Britannia their permanent
home. The word England means the "land of the
Angles." Except for Wales and Scotland, the island
was called England after this Anglo-Saxon
invasion.

In A.D. 937, Athelstan of Wessex was the first man
to claim the title as the King of the Anglo-
Saxons. He was followed by his nephew Edgar. Edgar
was crowned king of the Anglo-Saxons in a
spectacular ceremony that has been the standard
tradition for all the British monarchs since his
coronation. He was followed by his two sons,
Edward and Ethelted. Edward was murdered in A.D.
978, so at the age of twelve, Ethelted the Unready
became King. Ethelted was followed by Canute,
Harold Harefoot, Harthacanute, Edward the
Confessor, and Harold.

In 1066, the House of Normandy put four kings and
one empress on the throne: William the Conqueror,
William II, Henry, Empress Matilda, and Stephen.
The House of Normandy was replaced with the House
of Plantagenet in 1154. It had a line of eight
kings: Henry II, Richard the Lionhearted, John,
Henry III, Edward Longshanks, Edward II, Edward
III, and Richard II. Plantagenet was then followed
by the House of Lancaster in 1399 with Henry IV,
Henry V, and Henry VI. The line of Lancaster was
followed by the House of York in 1461. The House
of York had three kings: Edward IV, Edward V, and
Richard III. The House of York was then followed
by the famous House of Tudor.

The Welsh House of Tudor ruled England and Ireland
from 1485 until 1603. The five Tudor monarchs were
Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Bloody Mary, and
Elizabeth. During this dynasty, England emerged
from the Middle Ages as one of the most powerful
Renaissance nations. Henry VIII, the second Tudor
king (1509-1547), considered himself a devout
Roman Catholic, yet his reign was overshadowed by
his six marriages. He first wife, Catherine of
Aragon, was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella
of Spain. Henry wanted a son to carry on the Tudor
line, but the only child to survive this marriage
was a daughter, Mary. In 1527, he asked the Pope
to annul his marriage so he could marry Anne
Boleyn. While Henry VIII was waiting on an answer
from Rome, the archbishop of Canterbury died, and
Henry VIII replaced him with Thomas Crammer. This
newly appointed archbishop declared the marriage
to Catherine dissolved. Likewise, Parliament
declared Henry VIII as the head of the Church of
England.

Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, and she gave birth
to Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn was not able to give
Henry VIII a son, so she was tried for misconduct
and was beheaded. Henry VIII then married his
third wife, Jane Seymour. She died while giving
birth, but her baby boy survived childbirth. Henry
VIII named him Edward. Edward VI was ten years old
when he came to the throne in 1547. His rule was
carried out through a regent, his uncle the Duke
of Somerset. The Duke, being influenced by the
Protestant Reformation, allowed religious freedom,
but it did not last for long. At sixteen, Edward
VI died from tuberculosis, and his older sister
succeeded him to the throne.

Mary was a devout Roman Catholic. She decreed that
England should return to the authority of the
Catholic Church, and the country suffered greatly
under her five year reign. She persecuted the
protestants, declaring them heretics and burned
three hundred at the stake. Archbishop Thomas
Crammer was among that number. The country was in
ruins when she died in 1588. Since Mary was
childless, the throne was passed on to her sister,
Elizabeth.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
 
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