Posts Tagged ‘Watergate’

For those who were in college and/or adults during Watergate, Charles “Chuck” Colson was a name synonomous with the lust of power leading to criminal acts.  Below is the obituary from the National Review.  I was pleased by the fact that  the writer included a Scripture verse, St. John 15: 19,  from the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading John 15: 9-17. I think it is appropriately cited.  I include this obit to note the passing a witness to Jesus Christ.  I also include this obit because it encapsulates the way the Lord works through His Word:  Law and Gospel.  I comment on that after the obit.

Ernest Hemingway, Mad Men, the Nixon White House: A style of post-war macho bluster found its final form in the Watergate tapes. One of the main blusterers was Charles Colson, counsel to the president from 1969 to 1973. “When I complained to Colson,” wrote Nixon in his memoirs, “I felt confident that something would be done. I was rarely disappointed.” After Colson was charged with approving the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s office, a friend gave him a copy of Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, and read aloud a passage saying that pride “is the complete anti-God state of mind.” From standing at the right hand of a president, he fell before the King of King   who took him, just as He said He would. Colson’s time in jail opened his eyes to the suffering of other convicted criminals, and he devoted himself to Prison Fellowship Ministries, which now has programs in 1,300 prisons nationwide. In Christian theology, election refers to God’s saving grace: “I have chosen you,and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” Colson won the election of his life. Dead at 80. R.I.P

Reflection:  The sequence is important in this obituary as it is in the life of every Christian:  Law, then promise, or Gospel.  Mr. Colson found himself charged for a criminal act of great import in the life of our nation…a nation, by the way, conceived in liberty and freedom from government to perpetuate criminal acts against its citizens or intervene in our first amendment rights.  Mr. Colson read that pride is the “complete anti-God state of mind”. Yes.  This was the Law convicting Mr. Colson.  “Pride goes before destruction,and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18  Like David after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, Mr. Colson was cut to the quick:  see Hebrews 4:11-13   His repentance was true because immediately he heard of Jesus  Christ:  “…he fell before the King of King   who took him, just as He said He would.”  And that is called, grace, always preceded by God’s judgment.  Mr. Colson was found out by the Lord and the Lord found him.  He won the election of his life:  the Lord voted to save him in his anti-God state of life upon the Cross.  You as well. The Lord’s vote is the only that counts in His election and it is His forgiveness.  In Christ, Mr. Colson bore fruit:  the salvation of many through in ministry to prisoners.  Your fruitfulness may not make the papers but it will give hope to those around you.  In His grace it will be His love as He first loved us.

Merciful Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church by the sacrifice of Christ.  United with Him in Holy Baptism, give us grace to receive with thanksgiving the fruits of His redeeming work and daily follow in HIs way, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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