Anglican Morning Devotion for 7 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.” (Jeremiah 17:12-13; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Many love to walk along the foaming strand of a desolate beach at morning or eventide. The restless tide, constantly seeking to exceed its barriers, can momentarily break forth on dry sand, but the soul of the sea calls her tides back home to the main body of the sea to burst forth another day. As we walk, we glance back at our footprints that appear indelibly graven on the earth, but comes the tide and the footprints disappear more readily than they were implanted there. The memories of our walk on the sands of time linger for a moment in our hearts, and the hearts of our loved ones, but then comes the overrunning flood and all is erased as the shadows lengthen and time for us is no more. Then what of you and I will remain? Longfellow well pictures the scene in his poem,
FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS OF TIME:
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Thanks to the sin of our ancient father, Adam, our bodies begin to die the moment of our birth. We begin the long, or perhaps even brief, march to the grave. But God has afforded a redemption for our souls. Those who are blessed by grace to believe in faith have their names written upon another page in Heaven, the Lamb’s Book of Life. For all others, their names are written upon the dust and sands of the earth that is the treasure trove and heritage of all the lost. “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16) and “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelations 20:12-15)
None would like to have their names, or numbers, recorded in the book of the prison warden, but all who forsake the Lord are born with their names already inscribed there. The only recourse of escape is to have your name joined to that Name above every other name – the Lord Jesus Christ. Many call themselves Christian whose names will be found missing in the Lamb’s Book of Life because their profession of faith was vocal only and not an expression of the heart’s great desire.
You will remember the Scribes and Pharisees who reject Christ but brought a woman taken in adultery for Him to judge or acquit. Their motive was to destroy Christ and His message. Our Lord wrote twice upon the earth. What do you suppose He wrote that had such a fearful impact on these vipers? Could it have been their own names at the first writing, and the names of some woman with whom they, too, had enjoyed an adulterous affair? Their names were “written in the earth.” (Jeremiah 17:13)