My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding. Colossians 2:2
People may have wondered why stations along the Kettle Valley Railroad in rugged British Columbia bore names like Juliet, Romeo, Iago, Portia, or King Lear. Andrew McCulloch, the chief engineer during the 1910-16 building era, was an ardent student of Shakespeare. With entertainment not available in these lonely places, McCulloch amused the workers in the evenings by reciting from the writings of the British bard.
It is good to be more than a one-dimensional person. One purpose of education is to broaden one's interest in things beyond one's immediate job.
Saint Paul, in all humility and in due recognition of God's enabling grace, called himself an "expert builder" who laid a foundation on which others could build. As a spiritual "Andrew McCulloch" he entered the rugged regions of the pagan world and built a road for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A man strong in the Christian faith, he was also strong in knowledge, laying all his talents at the foot of Christ's cross. He knew the Greek Philosophers and poets, quoting them several times in his epistles.
The apostle wanted his young trainees to continue their education through reading. He writes to Timothy, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). All the while Saint Paul was telling the Ephesians--and is telling us today--"to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Just to know Shakespeare gets no one to heaven, but to know the One in whom also Shakespeare professed faith--Jesus Christ as Savior--does.
PRAYER: Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I trust in You, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)