Page 3 - May 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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he American poet, Edgar Allen Poe,  constant companions. The circumstances
              penned his insightful, and likely  of life had been difficult.
        Tautobiographical  words,  depict-     No doubt we would have expected his
        ing the vanity and futility which marks   words to be filled with bitterness, with
        life. He spoke of trying to hold within his   harsh recriminations against the “fates”
        hands grains of golden sand. Yet, like life,   which had so ordered things to make life so
        “how they creep through my fingers to the   difficult. Yet, listen as he speaks: “I therein
        deep.” Surveying the landscape of life, his   do rejoice, yea and will rejoice” (Phil 1:18,
        bitter conclusion was, “Is all that we see   KJV). With astounding certainty, he avows
        or seem but a dream within a dream?” He   himself a man who is rejoicing amidst the
        could not hold on to life, nor was there any   most difficult of circumstances. His secret?
        substance to it.                     He divulges it to us in the next breath: “For
          Obviously, Poe was not the first, nor will  to me to live, Christ!” (v21, KJV). His life
        he be the last, who has faced with heart-  was lived by the strength of another (Gal
        ache and misery, the fleeting, vapor-like  2:20), and for the glory of another. His life
        transience of life. To the Great Bard, life  was all about Christ. His was a Christ-
        was nothing more than “a walking shadow,  centered life.
        a poor player” advancing with each hour   The words come easily to us and make
        to obscurity, marking a meaningless exis-  their way from the keyboard to the screen
        tence, “a tale told by an idiot … signifying   with little difficulty due to the familiarity
        nothing.”                            which they possess. Yet their reality gives
          Mark well that these were not people  meaning to an otherwise empty life. A life
        struggling for existence, living at the fringe  which seeks in some way to advance His
        of society and barely able to rise above  Name, His glory, and His kingdom is, ac-
        the lowest rung in society. These were the  cording to Paul, the only life worth living.
        thinkers, the intellectuals, the movers and   Peter would readily and rapidly second
        shakers of the day. Here were the people  Paul’s worldview. As he surveys in 1 Peter
        upon whom others looked with admiration  1 the wonderful salvation which we as
        as those who were “really living!”   believers possess, he highlights one of the
          In contrast, travel back to a prison some-  great purposes of redemption: “redeemed
        where in Rome, where a man sits shackled  … from your vain conversation” (1Peter
        to a soldier. Likely, he had recently been  1:18, KJV). We have been redeemed from
        transferred there from his house arrest,  an empty manner of life by precious blood.
        and was awaiting his interview with Cae-  The vanity which marks creation must
        sar. Life had not been kind to him: he had  await a future day of deliverance. We, in
        known shipwrecks, hunger, and stoning.  contrast, have that deliverance now; it is
        His back was no stranger to the scourge  due to the precious blood which procured
        and whip. Weariness and pain were his  our redemption.

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