Sunday, January 18, 2004

Thumping good church service today. We learned about Psalm 52 and Doeg the Edomite (after beating some of the youth into submission on the new foosball table). However I was very surprised to see a death annoucement in the bulletin. Jonathan Chao died of cancer at the age of 65 on Monday of last week. I have never met a braver man, or one who more fully lived out the implications of the New Testament teaching that we are citizens of a heavenly country, or, for that matter, the Old Testament teaching that the LORD is my strength, whom shall I fear? Jonathan was a leader in providing training and resources for house church leaders all over China. He was not well thought of by the Chinese government. I don't really have the words to describe the respect I had for him.

Also, in closing we sang a hymn whose words I had not previously noted carefully. In honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, we sang Once to Every Man and Nation, which he apparently cited often in his speeches. Part of it (which hit me quite hard while I was singing) goes like this:

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scafold, and upon the throne be wrong,
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow keeping watch above His own.

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