Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

Courtesy – Not too much to be found

I don’t want you to think that I am anything like the Victor Meldrew character from One Foot in the Grave sitcom but where on earth has common courtesy gone these days? It seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth and can only be found in history books. People without God, tend to think more about themselves than they do of others. However, Jesus showed an amazing respect for the rights of personality. He never invaded the privacy of a man’s soul. He never broke rudely in upon the sanctities of a human heart. Jesus never assumed the role of the Dictator, ruthlessly enforcing His will on all whom He could command. There is a gentle, even delicate courtesy about the way in which Jesus lays siege to the heart. He never tried to coerce men into discipleship. The weapon of fear was never used by Him. He threw before men and women a vision of a way of victorious living, which captivated their minds and made them long for its secret. “If any man will come after Me.” That “if” indicated entire freedom of choice on the part of the individual. If men did not want to take His way He would not compel them or use unjust means of constraining them. Jesus respects that inner sanctuary of the self. This fact is brought out very clearly in Holman Hunt’s Light of the World, where we see the Master standing outside a door knocking. The door is overgrown with weeds, there is no latch on the outside. The Master could not open it if He wished. One gets the impression from the look of patience on the face that the Master would stand and wait and knock till the door was opened from the inside. Jesus respects the rights of the soul.


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