The first really warm days arrive in early spring. We shed our coats and melancholy moods and embrace the world around us that has decided to not be hostile. And we turn off the furnace. Well, for now. We know that in New England, one warm day in late March or early April does not a summer make. We know we’ll need the life-giving warmth of that furnace again in a few days, and now and then on chilly nights well into May. And maybe after that once or twice. Of course, we would never dream of getting rid of our furnaces in summer– we service them and get them ready for use again in the autumn. We know we’ll need them again because we know that homes without heat are useless.
But what about abandoned buildings that have no heat? How do they fare? This inn, once a beautiful haven for weary travelers, is now a spooky wreck. Without warmth and care for the last 40 years, this inn has decayed into a haven fit only for bats and vermin.
New England needs the gospel. It warms the culture. It keeps people and churches and communities– really, the whole region– from decay. God’s Word is true and dependable. It shows us how to live and be assured of eternal salvation. We need its warm touch in our lives constantly, like we need furnaces.
Spiritually, New England has grown dark and cold. Its residents shut down the furnace of God’s truth and love a long time ago.
We need to ignite that flame again. We are praying fervently for New England to return to its roots. Long ago this was the cradle of American Christianity, and it needs to be again.
Lord, help faithful pastors show New England how to turn the furnace back on.