A Personal Word by Bernie Torrence
Many times I am asked about La Red and the men and women who are involved in our movement. I have likened them to one of my favorite people in the Scriptures…a man by the name of Joseph of Arimethea. I have studied many of the available resources to find out who this man was and what he was made up of. Joseph of Arimethea is mentioned in each of the gospels. He represents the business arena of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. Joseph was known as “an honorable counselor, one who also waited for the Kingdom of God.”
I have noticed three types of people who were waiting for the Kingdom of God. One of these people was Simeon…a good man, very devout, and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen Him- God’s appointed King.
The Gospel of Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit impelled him to go to the temple that day; and so, when Mary and Joseph arrived to present the baby, Jesus, to the Lord in obedience to the Law, Simeon was there and took the child in his arms, praising God. “Lord, now I can die content for I have seen Him as you promised me I would! I have seen the Savior You have given to the world! He is the light that will shine upon the nations, and He will be the glory of your people, Israel! “
In the very next Scripture it says that “Anna, a prophetess was also there in the temple that day. She had been a widow for 84 years following seven years of marriage. She never left the temple, but stayed there day and night worshiping God by praying and fasting. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she also began thanking God, and telling everyone in Jerusalem, who had been awaiting the coming of the Savior, that the Messiah had finally arrived.”
Can you imagine the joy of these two people as they recognized there was a transition about to take place. This trasition time would be understood by some and misunderstood by many.
When John Schrock first shared with me the vision that he had about La Red, he began explaining the Kingdom of God. I was like so many of you, a business leader, involved in the church, with respect for the people that functioned like Simeon and Anna. I felt that my job was to support them, and to be part of the vision of our church. John told me that a major transition was about to take place and challenged me to participate in the vision. He told me that there would be men and women who were prepared, not plagued by former things, and how they would have insight into what God was doing in our day. John said that this new breed would look like lions, but have hearts like lambs. They would attract and find favor with great leaders of our time.
I searched for a profile of such a man in the Bible, and I found it in Joseph of Arimethea. I have always wanted to meet Joseph of Arimethea, one of the men who took Jesus down from the cross. Everyone else had deserted Jesus, but Joseph understood that He was a good man, and that He represented something powerful and historic in mankind.
Can you imagine the excitement that I had when I came across Arthur Hadley’s book on the Moral Basis of Democracy. I was moved as I read a chapter entitled, The Man Who was Prepared. I present it now to you as the first part of our series on Ethical Leadership. I have taken the liberty to adjust some of the sentence structure to make the reading easier. The content and meaning has not been changed.
John Schrock has told us that there would be men and women “prepared and not plagued by former things.” Keep that in mind as you read this treatise shared at Yale University in 1913. Arthur Hadley will take you back to a time when God was about to change the hearts of men. Hadley’s words resound in my heart and mind today. I challenge you to be one of those who are prepared to usher in the Kingdom of God. You may one day stand in the ranks of Simeon, Anna, and Joseph of Arimethea when you understand that God has given you a place and a platform to proclaim this news to the marketplace.
Let us now meet Joseph of Arimethea through the eyes of Arthur Hadley.