The Scripture reading for August 29 was Matthew 7:12-14 and we honored John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress.
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The Rev. Malone Gilliam gave us insight into the hardship that John faced by sharing that John was imprisoned for twelve years in England for the offense of conducting services and preaching without being ordained an Episcopal priest. It was while in prison that John wrote the first part of Pilgrim’s Progress, one of the most influential works of the 17th century. This allegorical story tells of Christian, a lonely pilgrim who must cross treacherous terrain in order to reach his final home.
John’s personal story and Pilgrim’s Progress remind us that when we choose to be a disciple, the “gate is narrow” and the “road is hard”. Since there are so few who travel this way, it is often a lonely road, too. It is a sad commentary that we are so easily distracted by the “wide gates” of money, fame and power, which define “success” in today’s world.
Malone dismissed us with this reminder as we went out into the world: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to...nowhere.”
Blessings for you to seek the narrow gate today, even though the road is hard and often lonely.
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