A bone fragment said to be from the elbow of “Saint” Thomas Becket was brought to England from Hungary at the weekend and put on display, first at the Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London, and later at the Church of England’s Canterbury Cathedral. Much pomp and ceremony and marching about by important people in expensive clerical garments. This is what passes for Christianity in England today.
I don’t want to be rude, but bones belong in the ground. And saints are not “made” or declared saints by any religious hierarchy. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a saint, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, chosen, set apart by God Himself.
A “saint” is a follower of Jesus, whether living or dead. “To the saints at Ephesus,” Paul wrote. It doesn’t mean we are wonderful people. It means we are sinful people who have accepted the wonderful gift of salvation provided for us by Jesus.
I don’t know anything much about Thomas Becket, but if he really is a saint, he would find the goings on this week intensely aggravating and embarrassing. He would tell the church authorities to get rid of that piece of bone and turn instead to the Word of God, the Bible.
Thomas lived in the 12th century, when the Bible was not available in English. Both the Catholic Church and later the Church of England banned the Bible. Translation into English carried the death penalty and many died at the stake, burned alive, before this changed.
Much blood has been shed so that we can hold God's Word in our hands and read it for ourselves. Now, almost anywhere in the world people can read God’s Word in their own language.
So we have no excuse whatever for venerating a sliver of bone in a fancy display case.
Are you a saint, dear reader? You have a choice. Jesus opened the door of Heaven when He died on the cross of Calvary. He paid the penalty for every sin that men and women have committed. He died for sinners, and we are all in that sinking boat. All have sinned and fallen short, the Bible tells us in Romans chapter 3.
The only way to forgiveness, cleansing, and being made worthy of Heaven is by putting our trust in Jesus. He said He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John chapter 14)
Sounds good to me! You can choose Jesus this very day. You can become a saint today! Jesus said that most people would reject Him and choose the broad way that leads to Hell. But you do not have to be in that dread crowd!
You can choose the narrow way, through Jesus Christ, the way that leads to eternal life. Jesus has paid the terrible penalty our sins deserve, but if you refuse to accept Him, you put yourself beyond help.
There is no other way to obtain forgiveness of sins. His blood was shed for us, the terrible price He paid to redeem us. But if you reject Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, you will die with your sins still on your soul.
The most religious people of Jesus’ day were the hard-hearted Pharisees, who adamantly rejected Him. Repentant sinners fell at His feet. I am one of the last group. Won’t you join me at His feet? It is the best place in the world to start your walk with Jesus.
A prayer: Dear Jesus, is this true? Are You real? Can I really belong to You, be one of Your people? Will You forgive even me? All my sins? Please help me believe the truth. Please forgive my sins. I put my trust in You and ask You to save even me.