Comment from Ken: Thanks for taking the time to walk with me today. May this week bring you happiness and joy.
Scripture: Matthew 22: 34-40
34But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35Then one of them, a lawyer,
asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Good morning. I am so pleased you are able to join me for our walk on Lincoln’s birthday. It is cold up here in Hopkinton this morning. The temperature is just nineteen degrees, and here it is noontime.
Going back in time as I usually do, President’s Day was called Washington’s Birthday. I still think it should be that way. This pastor so respects and honors George Washington. Here was a man who if he were alive today under the present political atmosphere would, in present standards, proclaim himself king. In our age, our politicians, and I mean all of them even though that is a generalization, seem to be interested only in THEIR power and self-interest. The people of our nation seem to be forgotten as our politicians argue and seek to out power each other.
George Washington loved this new country. He fought for its independence. He ruled with great wisdom and thoughtfulness. So loved and respected was George Washington that many believe he could have proclaimed himself king; yet so humble and caring of our new nation, he even refused to serve a third term of office. Might he be an example to others today; how fortunate we would be.
My mother saw to it that we had a celebration on George Washington’s birthday. I remember cookies that resembled a hatchet and cookies that looked like cherries all to recall the story of George Washington’s honesty when asked if he had cut down his father’s cherry tree. He could not tell a lie. Now that story is said to be false, but I still remember it being taught in elementary school. And we were taught stories of honor about Abraham Lincoln as well. Abraham Lincoln charged a man two cents more than an item cost, and we were told he rode five miles to return that two cents. Perhaps one of the reasons my generation becomes so upset about the modern politician is because we measure them by the standards we were taught about Washington and Lincoln.
It is supposed to snow this afternoon. We have some snow on the ground but not very much. Travelling up to North Conway a weekend ago we found towering snow bankings. Some of them were so high that you could hardly see some of the buildings behind them. Up in that area of New Hampshire, they have had much less rain than we have here in the more southern part. Dale is at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge today and is about an hour away from our home. I hope the storm does not begin until very late in the day. She is so happy with her new position; the only drawback is the distance she has to commute. Molly and I worry about her journey home in a snowstorm.
Have I purchased a Valentine’s Day card for Dale? You better believe it! Why I would be in deep trouble if I had not done so. As a matter of fact, she will probably get a card from Molly as well. This week in the paper, reading in a book, and on tv, I heard it said that “each day we should try to bring happiness to someone”. That is a very good way to make a day bright. I like to think that yesterday I brought some happiness to my brother Milton for he came to visit us in our home for the first time since we moved to Hopkinton. Milt has presented several of his doctor’s robes to the pastor of First Church here in Hopkinton, and Gordon, the pastor, has wished to meet him. He wanted to invite myself and my brother to lunch, and I suggested that he have lunch at our home. Dale was to be home yesterday, and as usual, she prepared a wonderful meal of homemade chicken pie and pumpkin muffins and a salad and for dessert chocolate cake for us. Milt had a chance to see our home, and Gordon had a chance to meet and talk with Milton.
Milt will be ninety-one in March, and he is most remarkable to me. He lives on his farm alone since he lost his wife, Juel, and he is active in his church and has many friends. I think of him so often living off on a dirt road In North Berwick, Maine and how much I wish he now lived in a different place. But until his home is sold, that is where he must be. I do not think I could handle all my meals and all my tasks around the house without my Dale, so I am very proud of my brother.
When we were talking yesterday as ministers may talk, it was so interesting to hear Milt speak about his love of the Old Testament. He told Gordon and I stories about one part of the Old Testament that we never knew. As he has travelled to Israel more than once, when he speaks about the stories of the Old Testament, he can tell you of the very place where the story takes place. How very keen and sharp is my brother’s mind. His ability to teach about the Bible and to study it far surpasses me. Milt reads the stories of the Bible in the language they were written and so knows them more precisely than those of us who read just the English version of the Bible.
After lunch, I drove Milt back to where I had picked him up in the morning half way between North Berwick and Hopkinton. He does not like to drive long distances now as he has become (which he never was before) a very cautious driver. When I left him at his car and began my journey back home, I thought of how much my brother means to me. My oldest brother and I talk almost every day. Do you talk with someone in your family as often as that? Perhaps you should!
Yesterday was a day of happiness. We built memories yesterday that will last for many years as long as God is willing to keep us here.
Valentine’s Day may for some seem a silly day, yet if it brings happiness to someone in your life, it is a special day in the eyes of God.
This pastor wishes you love and happiness today and every day. Come walk with me again in the near future.
Prayer: Dear God may our lives be spent bringing the happiness of life and Jesus Christ to all around us. May we forget ourselves often and think of others on this our journey in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Benediction: ‘And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen.