2004-03-09 - Two Stories from Greenland
Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
I was surprised to stumble upon two stories from Greenland this week in my reading. Both are relating things that happened over 250 years ago. I would not have suspected that missionaries would be in Greenland that long ago, but clearly they were. It is a rugged country, and even today getting there can be a challenge. I was supposed to visit Greenland about 3 years ago, in the summer time, when the weather is fair, and yet was prohibited because of inclement weather.
The first item is an observation by a Greenlander concerning the cleaning of a pewter spoon. The man said, "Now I can well conceive the process 'of polishing.' Now I can well conceive how our Saviour nets in the circumcision of our hearts, and how he proceeds even to the end, with our purification, when we surrender our hearts to him. He must first cut away all the coarse stuff that is good for naught; and yet he afterwards finds much still to rub off. This causes him much trouble, and us pain too. But behold, just as the brother pours on the burnishing water, to do it the easier, and to make the spoon the smoother and brighter, so our Saviour sprinkles us with his own blood, makes our purification agreeable, and never leaves us till we are pleasant in his sight."
The next item concerns Mr. Drachart, a Danish missionary in Greenland, and his baptizing of nine people. One of them was an old man who received word that his two daughters were to be baptized. He asked the missionary if he might be baptized also. "It is true," said he, "I can say but little and very probably I shall never learn so much as my children, for thou canst see that my hairs are quite grey, and that I am a very old man; but I believe with all my heart in Jesus Christ, and that all thou sayest of him is true." His petition could not be refused, and while he could not answer the general questions asked him concerning his faith, the baptism proceeded. He was very moved during the baptism, and sealed the ordinance with his tears.
There is much we could touch on regarding these relations. In the second, we see an older gentleman who knew very little doctrine, but knew of his need for Jesus Christ. His desire to follow the call to be baptized into Christ was granted. Maybe what we can take from this, is that it is never too late to turn to Christ, and it matters not how much we know, but rather what we know. If we know of our need for a Savior, and seek release from the power, penalty, and grip of sin, age is no hindrance nor is doctrine. "All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out," John 6:37.
Soli Deo Gloria,