Opera Glasses And A Bible

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For All The Saints"1 (Lyrics)

While helping my elderly mother clear out her house, I came across two precious items belonging to her own father, who passed away before I was born. A small black leather case, well worn, holds a set of opera glasses, made in Rochester, New York, USA. As the only lover of opera music in my family, I had wondered where the attraction came from! Also, there is an even-more-worn black leather-bound copy of the King James Bible, printed by the Oxford Press and bearing my grandfather's signature on the title page. Within the delicate pages are carefully tucked small notes of Scripture, Sunday School programs, hand written prayers, and Bible study notes.

From this man whom I never knew, a faithful voice from the past bequeaths his love of music and Christian faith to his granddaughter, who now studies and meditates on God's Word, as he did. Similarly, the writer to the Hebrews reflected on the heritage of faith of his ancestors in the Old Covenant, which culminated in the love and grace of the new one, in Jesus.

Hebrews 8:10-12 – For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (NKJV)

If you think of God like my departed grandfather — a distant, impersonal Lawgiver, and only that — these verses illuminate that darkened view, like sunshine through glorious stained glass! Just as I value my own Christian heritage, the Hebrew Christians, discouraged as they were, were encouraged to re-evaluate their heritage from God, and not return to their previous faith made of regulations. The writer urged them to consider that the Old Covenant — which Israel witnessed at Sinai with fear and reverence and which demanded obedience to regulations and laws — has been fulfilled by a New Covenant, where Jesus Himself fulfills the requirements of the law, and the hearts of believers are transformed as a result. Now, we love the Lawgiver, Whose only Son came with love and grace to forgive our unrighteousness and rebellion, through His own sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

If you feel that your heart is but a tablet of stone for God to write His laws on and nothing more, know that He is not a distant God, but One Who loves us and wants to be known by us.

I finish with a prayer of my grandfather, written in his own hand, transmitting his faith of long ago to us today.

Prayer: We give thanks, our Lord, for all our many blessings — for our homes and families and dearest friends. We would remember all the less fortunate and pray that they may be comforted and consoled in their hour of need. Direct our thoughts to kind and helpful deeds and make us ever mindful of Thy presence. We ask Thy blessing on this gathering in Thy name, and pray for Thy guidance always. Hear us when we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <shirley_moulton@yahoo.ca>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    You are Blessed.

    Thanks for sharing this touching story.

    Thank you, Shirley for sharing this faith filled memory.

    Thank you, Shirley, for sharing this touching devotional with us today.

    What an exciting discovery God gave you that day you found these mementos, Shirley! Maybe you loved the very same operas? Indeed this was a blessing.

    You gave a wonderful inspiration for Father’s Day, Shirley. I have my great-grandfather’s bible which his daughter also read, my paternal grandmother. Many thanks.

    What a lovely story that frames your devotional today, Shirley. Your grandfather would, I think, be overjoyed to read it.

    Dear Shirley,
    What a beautiful treasure to have discovered, and now we are blessed by it too! Thank you so much for this devotional which is a blessing to me and others.

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for sharing from your personal past. Your grandfather’s faith continues to testify to you and now to us today.
    Thank you for sharing the blessing!

    Shirley. Your special discovery of your grandfather’s prayer in the Bible brought to mind the hymn words from Faith of Our Father’s. Faith that is “living still”! Although I never knew my grandfathers, who died before I was born, I do know there was Faith practiced in those homes and God’s love was made evident down through the family to me. I thank God for that heritage that led me to Himself!
    Thanks for your story that made me stop and remember my own.

    Good morning, Shirley,
    What a wonderful gift to find treasurers that belonged to the grandfather you never got to meet. I loved how you tied it into your Christian faith and invite all to see God not as impersonal, but as one who truly knows us.
    Sharing a prayer of your grandfather’s was very touching and very personal. Thank you for continuing to share pieces of your journey and how they impact you to help us all grow in our faith. What gifts you received and what gifts you share. Blessings.

    Thank you, Shirley, for this very beautiful and most meaningful devotional today and sharing the treasure of your grandfather’s prayer. His words certainly express what a devoted person he was. I have several Bibles in my possession but there is one that I have always used when attending Bible studies and during my morning prayer time and devotional references. Almost every page in this Bible has something that I have underlined or written some little detail about the scripture and when I see that I often wonder what thoughts will someone have when they come across it when I’ve passed on. I hope someone will appreciate it as you do the one of your grandfather’s. Many blessings for the writings you do and continue to share with us.

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for sharing in devotional form, this legacy your grandfather left for you. What blessing you received from it, and the blessings we receive as believers.

    I wonder who has Daddy’s antique Kodak camera that had to be pulled out, and had to be put on a tripod? We always dreaded picture taking time as when he got us in position we had to stand so still we could hardly breathe. He was a perfectionist so we have lots of his loving works!!
    I have numerous “stuff” that mean a little to nothing to my grandchildren.
    Shirley, you always takes what might be simple or very special, and give us the spirituality loaded message. Thank you for that so much.

    Good morning Shirley,
    Such a good devotional. I did not get anything from my grandfather, He had 66 grandchildren so I’m sure some of the older ones got whatever little there was. But I do know from my mother that he was a very religious person. She and my dad passed that on to us. Re: opera glasses, on a more personal note, we lived in Austria for a few years and we went to see an opera or operetta quite often. I loved it, still do, but not much available in this part of Ontario. I bought my wife a pair of really nice opera glasses. We went to an opera when we lived in England, we left them on the seat and when we went back they were gone.
    Thank you for writing those meaningful words.

    Good morning, Shirley. Thank you for sharing your grandfather’s prayer with us, it shows a faith of long ago that still is needed today. Blessings.

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