Thought for the Week - The Just Shall Live By Faith
This is a very different year for all of us. Normally the week leading up to the Twelfth sees a real hive of activity within the Orange Family. Those Districts hosting parades would be putting all their final arrangements in place. Platforms and fields prepared – bunting, flags and arches erected and stalls organised for the big day. Individual Lodges would be making their traditional plans.
In my own lodge in Derryfubble we normally have our own local parade in the morning, then head for the main parade, which should have been in Castlecaulfield and finish back at the Hall in the evening for a dinner. Many Lodges are making plans for some kind of small local events within the current restrictions. It is also encouraging to see the number of Drive-in Services being planned in different places. While we cannot celebrate the 12th as we would like we will still do so as best we can.
The victory of King William III at the Boyne is well worth celebrating. The Battle had significance right across Europe for the guarantee of civil and religious liberty across the continent and beyond. The freedoms we still enjoy today owe much to the victory won by the Prince of Orange.
While much is different this year, one thing remains constant, our Institution’s foundation on the Word of God. The Bible remains the same and it tells us how can have our sins forgiven and live eternally with the Lord in Heaven. The words which provided a wake-up call for the Reformer, Martin Luther, were part of Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” The Orange Institution calls its members to have faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The Qualifications of an Orangeman begin “An Orangeman should have a sincere love and veneration for His Heavenly Father and a humble and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, believing in Him as the only Mediator between God and man.”
A humble and steadfast faith in Jesus is necessary not just for Orangemen but for everyone if we desire our sins to be forgiven and to live and worship God in Heaven forever. This is what “the just shall live by faith,” means. Without Jesus men and women are doomed to a lost eternity in hell. How sad it would be to know the truth of the Gospel and yet to be lost for eternity because we did not trust in Jesus. As Orange Brethren the challenge of our Qualification and much more importantly of Scripture is simple and clear.
Is our faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour, have our sins been forgiven so that we can live for Jesus now and with Him forever ? I trust you will all enjoy the 12th celebrations this year but much more importantly that you will trust in Jesus Christ, if you have not already done so. Remember those great words, “The just shall live by faith.”
By Wor. Bro. Rev. David Reid, Grand Chaplain