Responsive Hearts

If nature responds to the sun in springtime and puts forth buds and leaf, in sprout and blossom, how much more should the Christian respond to the resplendent beams of the Su9n of righteousness, who has risen that we might have life and have it more abundantly. The very intention of God’s enlightenment of us is that we might grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. His design is to transform us into the image of his Son, and to this end he has shed abroad in our hearts the very light of his own presence as it shone in the face of his Son. Surely we must be dead indeed if so potential and so glorious a light fails to waken in us a lively response, a vigorous growth. When Christ speaks of having life more abundantly, he does not mean merely life in expectation – the hereafter life for which we hope; but he means life now, beautiful in the foliage of holiness, fragrant with sanctity and purity, and fruitful of all charity, laden with every good work. To do this we must respond to the sweet influences of the Light of the world, and, that we may so respond, we must keep ourselves in proper relationship to him. We saw the days shorten toward the long nights of winter, and since we have beheld them widen toward the long days of spring and summer. This shortening and widening is all due to the earth’s attitude toward the sun. God grant that we may retain that relationship, whose daylight ever widens toward the fullness of the perfect day in Christ. As we see old trees renew their youth, and old vines burst into a very resurrection of blossom, because their light hath come, and the sun has visited them, so should the old things in our lives revive and put forth under the power of Christ. As we read our Bibles under the inspiration of his presence, old text should be illuminated, and the trite and familiar should burgeon and blossom with perennial freshness. Christ makes one eternal spring in the regions of his Bible, and the lives of those who frequent those regions should absorb the fragrance and imbibe the joy. A right attitude toward Christ should also revive old resolutions, dead purposes, buried aspirations; in short, our coming to this feast should beget a weekly springtime in the heart, with all the attendant revivings of that budding season of the year. –Philip Y. Pendleton, in the book, On the Lord’s Day, Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1904.

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