November 14, 2011
You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32
While I am a fairly amiable person by nature, I'm not overly keen on a fellow by the name of Fauja Singh.
In part that is because Singh has just finished running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. True, his time of 8 hours, 25 minutes, and 16 seconds is hardly the fastest in the world. Indeed, 3,849 runners finished the race before him and only five behind him.
Even so, that doesn't change the fact that Fauja Singh has a special place in my general feeling about marathoners. I've examined why I feel this way and have concluded I'm jealous. I'm jealous because marathoners do something I don't do, can't do and have no desire to do. But, having said that, somehow, and for a reason I cannot explain, feel I ought to try and do.
And if you wonder why Fauja Singh has been singled out for special treatment, I'm glad to tell you. Fauja Singh of Great Britain ran that marathon after he had celebrated his 100th birthday!
Almost as bad, Mr. Singh runs ten miles every day.
Pretty impressive, isn't it? One hundred years old and running marathons. It puts some extra weight behind the words of Leviticus -- the ones above which tell us to "honor the face of an old man." What Singh has done makes honoring him a very logical, reasonable thing to do. He has earned the honor.
But we dare not stop with honoring old men.
The passage continues. It tells us to fear, that is, to respect the Lord. Why?
Because the Lord has earned our respect, our reverence and our worship. Go to Eden. When there was absolutely no reason for the Lord to search out His disobedient children, He did. When He should have condemned them, He made a promise to save them.
Go to Gethsemane. There was no reason for Jesus to carry our sins, our guilt, our condemnation ... but He did. On Calvary there was no reason Jesus should have stayed on that cross and endured the pain and the mocking, but He did.
From the first pages of Scripture to the last we see a Lord who has in wonderful ways, unbelievable ways, earned the worship of His people. It is a worship which should freely, willingly be given by sinners who are washed in the blood of the Lamb.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is impossible for me to understand why You have done what You have done. Your love is so much greater, Your compassion so much deeper, Your faithfulness so much more dependable than anything this world can offer. In or out of Your presence may I show my respect and honor. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries