Story of the Day for Wednesday March 7, 2012
Bear Any Sacrifice
Jesus said, “Why do you nullify the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”
While many in the American colonies considered the Indians to be savage sub-humans, William Penn always treated them with kindness and respect. He learned their language so he could talk to them without an interpreter.
Even though he bought land from King Charles II of England, and named it “Penn’s forest,” or “Pennsylvania,” he realized the land was inhabited by the Delaware tribes, and bought the land a second time from the Indians. Penn purchased land west and north of Philadelphia “as far as a man can go in a day and a half.” Both Penn and the Delaware tribe were satisfied with this purchase.
After Penn’s death, however, the provincial secretary James Logan, used the wording of the treaty to establish the infamous Walking Treaty of 1737. He had a path cleared in the forest in a straight line. Then he hired the three fastest runners in the colony to run as far as they could in a day and a half.
On September 19, 1737, Edward Marshall outdistanced his companions and ran a full 70 miles — creating an area of 1,200,000 acres (which is roughly equivalent to the size of Rhode Island).
Not surprisingly, the Delaware tribes were outraged. Nevertheless, the Delaware chiefs consented to the agreement, and were forced to move west of their tribal homelands.
Did James Logan honor the treaty that Penn made with the Delaware tribes? In a strict sense he could claim that he obeyed the law. But in his heart he knew this was robbery.
In 1147, Pope Eugene III traveled to Paris. He arrived on Friday, which was inconvenient because Friday was a day of fasting. So, in order to allow the citizens of Paris the opportunity to celebrate his coming, he decreed that Friday was Thursday.
We learn how to wiggle out of agreements from a young age. When I was a kid, you could break a promise if you crossed your fingers behind your back when you made it.
The religious leaders from Jerusalem knew that God commanded children to take care of their parents in their old age. But they wiggled out of the law by claiming that, if someone dedicated their possessions to God, they didn’t have to support their parents.
Jesus wasn’t buying it.
The Bible repeatedly tells us to fulfill our promises. It makes sense: God doesn’t want us to cheat other people.
But I think there’s even more to it. As we learn that keeping a promise takes a sacrifice, we better understand that Jesus made a promise to rescue us . . . and he would bear any sacrifice to fulfill it.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)