Our travels have now brought us to New England, a region we love for many reasons, including cousins Joshua’s age who always resume their bonds with our son in an instant — like next-door friends who’ve never parted. We see God’s grace in such connections, and in the summer fun and laughter they provide. Tuesday included a Plymouth pond for swimming and refreshment on an unusually balmy day.
Wednesday brought us back to downtown Boston, where Eileen attended college and rooted feverishly for the Celtics in days gone by. She and I almost never hang out in Boston without a meal in Little Italy, but we added a harbor cruise before dinner this time. I snapped this photo near the spot where the river spills into Boston Harbor. (You can see the U.S.S. Constitution in the foreground, and the Bunker Hill Monument in the background.)
The famed Charles River made me start counting all of the colleges nearby. Four dot the river just inland: Boston University, M.I.T., Emerson, and Harvard. And that got me thinking about how so many of New England’s schools were founded for the specific and only purpose that Bible preachers could be properly trained. Harvard’s motto is still the Latin “Veritas” — that’s “Truth” in English, and undoubtedly an unashamed (at least historically so) reference to Christ’s message in the Scriptures.
A region where evangelical faith once flourished, and the exact place from which that good news once shook nearly the whole world, now feels post-Christian in many ways. Beautiful steeples still punctuate the verdent landscape, but underneath are near-empty sanctuaries and historic pulpits now impotent after years of gospel-less preaching. Some of those church buildings don’t even pretend to be places of worship anymore. Like the spiritual scene in much of Europe today: profoundly sad, if you ask me.
Proverbs 1:7 ought to grab us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” That’s a poignant reminder for every Ivy-League-er, and for everybody else as well. To know the truth and then to abandon it, may it never be! The very thought of such short-sighted and yet far-reaching behavior ought to drive you and me to our knees before our heads hit our pillows tonight …
“Father God, please humble us. In spite of us, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, please make our church a light on a hill. We pray this for the glory of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His name alone. Amen.”