Don’t be mistaken, Raymond and I are close friends. Only a close friend (or an enemy) could be so honest with me.
I helped ease his transition from a Lancaster Conference district dominated by a strict bishop to an assignment in a more relaxed district in the Southeast.
He and Alice were my hosts on many weekends as I pursued my role as a bishop. I remember how their listening made it easier for me to regurgitate what I had learned from recent work shops or from a book. They served in any way the Homestead Mennonite Church called them.
He was the director of the child care ministry which he helped pass from Mennonite administration to become a service managed by the migrant community. The service became known and still exists as the Redland Christian Migrant Association. To read how this ministry has grown unto the present click on Redland Christian Migrant Association’s history and ministry where the initiative of the Mennonites at Homestead is properly remembered. Click on the link to learn more about the present Homestead Mennonite Church.
Now Raymond thanks me for making him laugh, and tells me of his reading of the Psalms of Ascent. He reflected that many of the Psalms do not know Jesus and that the Psalms of Ascent are closer to Jesus and that Psalm 126 mentions laughter and made Raymond happy.
I sometimes listen in the early morning to a radio program which begins and ends with the theme song: Holy Bible Book divine. I suggest for our consideration that the bible is neither wholly holy or divine. To regard the bible as holy or divine is misleading idolatry. The bible is most helpful when it is put in its place as a good book, but not holy or divine.