A Matter of Respect
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A Matter of Respect

Daytime television is full of small claims court programs and having never

been to a real one I decided this morning to observe a real life small

claims court in our little city.  I was sitting toward the front trying to

hear every word when I heard the door open behind me.  Almost instantly in a

very clear, loud and authoritative voice the judge commanded, “Take off your

hat in the presence of the United States flag!”   I turned just in time to

see a young man quickly strip his hat from his head.


“Wow,” I thought.  “I wish we could have such respect for coming into God’s

presence.”  I realize it is a sign of old age to be distressed over the

apparel of some who come to church.  Yes, I have heard the arguments about

God wanting us and taking us as we are.  We sing songs like, “Just As I Am.”

I understand.  But somewhere along the way as people get to know our

heavenly Father as the Almighty Supreme Ruler of the Universe it seems there

would be a growth in respect.  If I were invited to the White House to meet

the President of the United States I would not appear in shorts and

flip-flops. (They wouldn’t let me in!)


One of the most powerful moments in the great film “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Reverend Sykes says to the little girl protagonist, “Stand up Jean Louise,

your father is passing by.”


This is not an issue of God not wanting us or God not accepting us.  It is a

matter of respect.


Written by Roger Bothwell on October 7, 2008.

Spring of Life, 901 Signorelli Circle, St. Helena, CA 94574