My “Memorial Day Picnic” was mowing my yard with my push mower, which, in 90 degree heat was no “picnic!” As I worked my eye began to sting. As a youth, a game of “kick-the-can” went bad. As my friend gave the rusty can a hearty kick, I dropped to the ground to avoid being tagged. I fell right into the path of the rusty can which caught me above the eye. A trip to the doctor, a tetanus shot and several stitches later I was good as new. Well almost … there was one thing. The scar through my eye brow left a trough for sweat to run into my eye. The scar is barely visible after all these years. I’m a long way from kick-the-can days! But that scar still funnels salty sweat right into my eye. And it sure burns. So that’s why God put eye brows on our faces! They form a boundary to keep sweat out of our eyes. Who knew?
We in the church have been known to play “kick-the-can,” refusing to deal with important Biblical issues. We can be prone to break the boundaries that God, in His love and grace, has set before us! It’s a story old as the beginning! Adam & Eve had a whole Eden of creation before them with tastes and smells rich and diverse! But one tree was called by God, for their own good, “off limits.” God had set a boundary. But that “off limits” tree, that one boundary, was right where Satan went after them. And when they broke the boundary, well, we’ve been paying for that ever since!
We live in a culture which wants no boundaries! And we see the church around us kicking the can down the road rather than dealing with these boundary issues. Boundaries are seen as restrictive and unfair. But every boundary that your God sets before you is for your good and for your blessing! And when we crash through the boundaries the salty sting of sin will surely burn us! There’ll be pain for us, our families, our culture.
I’ve always loved the counsel of Proverbs 22:28, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.” (NIV)
In The Covenant Brethren Church we are seeking to clarify and rebuild the boundaries set up by the Brethren of 1708 when they entered into “…a covenant of good conscience with God, to “accept all the ordinances of Jesus Christ as an easy yoke, and thus follow after their Lord Jesus – their good and loyal Shepherd – as true sheep in joy or sorrow until the blessed end.” (Alexander Mack, Jr, as quoted in European Origins of the Brethren) And more importantly, we want to bow in obedience to the boundaries our Lord has blessed us with for our good in His timeless Word, of which the book of Proverbs also records in 30:5, “Every Word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (NIV)
Please join me in not “kicking-the-can” and rejoicing in the boundaries given us in love in God’s Word!
Larry Dentler – CBC Executive Board member