My older brother really got me thinking the other day. He has recently been moved to a parish in Anchorage Alaska where he faithfully ministers as a priest. He is such a godly man that all of our conversations seem profound to me, but this one has really moved me to a deeper level of commitment to our Lord.
We are all familiar with the parable of the sower that Jesus tells in three of the gospels (Mark 4, Luke 8 and Matthew 13). The seed fell on different places: the road, rocky soil, shallow soil and finally fertile soil. If we have decided to become a Christian, than the seed has found fertile soil or a noble and good heart that is willing to put their faith in Jesus. But what my brother pointed out to me is that even the Christian can produce fruit in different measures. The fertile soil produced 30, 60 or even 100 times what was sown (Mark 4:20). Just like we have the choice to become a person of faith, we get to decide what level of commitment we would like to live. How serious are we about our faith?
I have been working through another study of William Barclay’s on the book of Hebrews. In the famous chapter on faith in Hebrews 11, the author mentions Enoch:
“By faith Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5)
Barclay points out that Enoch walked with God so closely that to him even death would have been seamless anyway:
“But surely the idea behind it all is that in a wicked and corrupt generation Enoch walked with God, and so when the end came to him, there was no shock, no break, no interruption, and that death simply took him into God’s nearer presence.” (p. 153, “The Letter to the Hebrews”)
Oh, how I want to be like this! I want to walk like Enoch did, so closely that even death is no big deal. It is simply another transition into the presence of God.