Skip to main content

Thoughts From Martin Copenhaver

Dear Friends,

After two weeks away enjoying the beautiful foliage in Northern New England I wanted to catch up and send you another thought which I found very much worth reading! It doesn't take much looking around to see that marriage (the covenant God ordained in creation) has taken a strong hit from many sectors of society.

An article put out by Bentley University states: “Millennials are making history by saying no to traditional marriage in record numbers — and they may be radically changing a centuries-old institution. While traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for generations, with this group — the oldest now 40 years old — it appears to be in free fall according to a report by the Pew Research Center…”


Be that as it is, my spirit couldn’t help but resonate with the words of Martin Copenhaver regarding one of the very positive aspects of marriage found in his devotional entry from, “The Gospel in Miniature.” You can see if your heart resonates in the same way. Enjoy.

One Person at a Time

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” Luke 12:6


“Saint Augustine said that God is able to love each person as if he or she were the only person in the world. But we cannot do that. As human beings we are limited in that way. Sometimes, however, we can love one particular person in that intensely focused way. It could be a spouse, or a partner, or a friend. And to love one person that completely is to catch a glimpse of how much God cares for each one of us.


In the movie “Shall We Dance?” the character played by Susan Sarandon reflects on why people get married: “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet. I mean, what does any one life mean? But in marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying: ‘Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed, because I will be your witness.’”

What that character said about marriage can also be said of close and abiding friendships. Our love may not be able to encompass everyone – at least not fully. But sometimes we can love one person as if he or she were the only person in the world. We can promise to care about everything. We can bear witness to that person’s life. At the heart of the Christian Gospel is the affirmation that God in Christ is the witness to our lives, all of our lives. It is a love which we can catch glimpses of in our relationships with one another, one person at a time.”

I like to think of marriage that way. It’s the choice, commitment, and covenant promise one makes to love, and be the ever-present witness of their spouse’s life, for their entire life, through good and bad, happy and sad. Why? So that our marriage partner knows that come what may – should all others not notice, or not care, or not see, or not support, or not love him or her, they can know we will.


In a world of billions, where things are often so impersonal and the sheer multitude of people can make us feel very, very insignificant, how comforting it is when in marriage one says to us, “I want to share your life. I want to be there for you through all life can bring. I want you to know that in a world where it’s easy to get lost among the masses, I will notice, I will care, I will see, I will miss you when you’re away, and I will wait for the time you come home.”


As a kid the one thing I remember most about my grandfather when he was well into his 90’s, and had been married to my grandmother for 60+ years, was him pacing over to the window frequently when she was taken shopping, and had been gone for an extra-long time. He noticed. He cared. He watched. He may have worried. But he waited for her to return home, always with a sigh of relief when she did. I never doubted how much he loved her. I know she didn’t either. What a blessing to know someone cared that much.



In His Grace, Pastor Jeff






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thoughts About the History of Lent

Dear Friends, As today is “Shrove Tuesday” and Lent begins tomorrow, I thought I would pass along some interesting facts about the history of Lent. Sometimes we know about it, but don’t really know about it! So, for today, I have put together some background information about Lent. Information varies depending on the source, but I tried to weave together an accurate, historically reliable, and generally accepted summary of the basic facts! Enjoy. Lent is the approximate 40-day season between Ash Wednesday and Easter, during which Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant believers prepare themselves spiritually for Easter through prayer, Bible reading, and a focus on spiritual disciplines like fasting, self-denial, and a commitment to acts of generosity. The word “lent” comes from the Old English word “lencten” meaning “length” and was used to refer to the springtime season in the Northern Hemisphere when the days were lengthening as the sun rose earlier and set later. Lent is

Thoughts From Rick Hamlin

Dear Friends, This "thought" will likely seem more relevant to those who are past the child-rearing stage -- though it can surely offer hope to those who are in the midst of it! It was the March 1st reading from my 2018 edition of the Daily Guideposts devotional which I quoted from a few weeks back. The author of this particular entry is Rick Hamlin. It struck me as an entry that offers hope to the burdened conscience, and for that reason I pass it along to any parents who may need the encouragement it offers. Enjoy. "You will hurl all our sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19 "It's interesting what we can remember and what we regret. When I think about the kind of dad I was when my kids were younger, I hate to recall the times when the two of them tested my patience. Two boys, three years apart, roughhousing indoors, the playful tussling that turned into wrestling matches threatening to destroy

Thoughts From Tim Challies

Dear Friends, I know it's Holy Week and most of you were probably expecting an Easter "thought." But it will not be. Not this year anyway! Instead, I wanted to send out a thought that has to do with prayer. Expectant prayer. Believing prayer. Earnest prayer. Prayer that actually anticipates that it will receive what is asked for. Prayer that is offered not only believing God is able, but also willing. Not simply that God can (which we all know), but that He will (which some often doubt). I know (since some have told me) that some believers consider the second part -- the conviction that He will -- as being a bit presumptuous, or contrary to a humble posture before God. But if I read the words of Jesus correctly, it seems to be an attitude He wants us as God's children to have when praying to Him who is our Father. Today's selection happens to be from Tim Challies, and is entitled "Expecting Results." Enjoy. "When you pray, petitionin