The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 12
Welcome to another feast at the Training Table! And speaking of feasting…
Ernest Hemingway said, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” (“A Moveable Feast”)
Hemingway’s 1920’s memoirs from Paris provided him with an appetite for yummy Parisian things that he thought would last him a lifetime (ergo, “moveable”… take the memories and feasts anywhere we go, for as long as we go), but this sort of “moveable feast” failed to sustain his hunger for the lasting and deeper things of life.
Ultimately, Hemingway’s existential angst (and his writing that reflected the same) got the better of him. And when he hungered and strived most for meaning—as he embraced life’s meaninglessness at the same time—Hemingway’s only out was suicide. As was the case for four other members’ of his family.
Suicide is not a generic disorder. It’s complicated. But having an inexhaustible appreciate for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will, in the vast majority of cases, provide us the sustenance we need to endure the lowest lows, enjoy the highest highs, and add rich and nourishing sustenance to anyone’s life we encounter!
For those who have been born-again by means of the Holy Spirit’s regeneration, their heart-felt repentance, their beseeching Jesus to forgive and become one’s Savior and Lord of their life, and taking up the mission of Jesus every day—“the movable feast” is the immoveable promise of The Trinity, the daily delight of living by Scriptural and communal sustenance, in the sure hope of the complete redemption of the universe, and a heavenly banquet spread for an eternal nuptial celebration!
The feast for the faithful is no longer bound by the characteristics of one great meal followed by a really poorly cooked plateful that causes one to wretch! No, the melody and feast celebration for God’s children of His mercy and sovereign design, is more akin to:
“At the Lamb’s high feast we sing,
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side;
Praise we Him, Whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.”
(Unknown 6th Century Author)
For Today’s Plank of the Faith: Making What May Seem Mysterious and Imponderable… Very Simple, yet Rich, and Well Worth Digging Into!
By means of The Heidelberg Catechism, please consider how many times you may have, and have surely experienced how so many other people in our day pose common questions such as, “I just don’t know what my life consists of?” “Why doesn’t God make His plan for me more clear?” “My life, my job, my every day plodding along just doesn’t seem to have much meaning… inspiration… or lasting excitement?”
It’s very important to note that The Heidelberg Catechism was commissioned in1560’s by German Elector Frederick III out of his heart-wrenching concern of, “seeing so little fear of God and the knowledge of His Word” among the youth of his surroundings.
Please consider Frederick’s motivation again, “seeing so little fear of God and the knowledge of His Word” among the youth of his surroundings.
Perhaps this motivation of Frederick’s heart sounds familiar to you. Perhaps you have a heart for youth as well… or for adults outside of, and in the faith, who suffer from the exact same problem.
Please pay careful attention to the incredibly concise, simple enough for a child to read, memorize, and be discipled and grown-up in the faith from, and yet as wide and deep to fill a library with books that explain, extol, and exemplify its truths.
The Heidelberg Catechism, Question 2.
“How many things are necessary for you to know, that you, enjoying the comfort of knowing and believing, may live, and die, happily?”
Answer: “Three: (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.” (d)
Please read, re-read this wonderfully compact yet robust articulation to one of “the imponderables of life” (but not actually), answered by the only God Who loves us in the True and proper way: The way He created us to be!
And please make sure to chew on the proof texts (See: Resources below, (a), (b), (c), (d) for this very meaty catechism! A Plank of the Faith nailed down by God Himself.
Until we sup’ again at the Training Table, may God richly bless you in all manner of things!
(a) Matt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt.11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt.11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Tit.3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Tit.3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit.3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; Tit.3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(b) John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
(c) John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 10:43 To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
(d) Eph.5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph.5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Eph.5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Eph.5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Rom.6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom.6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom.6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.