Uncle Gordon's Scales
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
My wife came from a farming background – Marion Sills from Plainfield Ontario and Beverly Foster from Moira Ontario. The old Foster homestead was farmed by Bev’s brother Gordon and his wife Mina. They were the cutest couple. They never had children but loved kids and Uncle Gordon was like a kid. We used to go back and help Gordon bale hay and also cut wood. Janice and I also went back, often, before we moved to Nova Scotia to visit and usually have Chinese food. Uncle Gordon had a monstrous sweet tooth and we would always have to get extra Sweet and Sour dishes. He would eat one all by himself. He was so hyper that I wonder if he wore it all off. He never gained an ounce and lived to be 97 years old. We had so much fun and I have such great memories of our visits. They were a kind and loving couple who loved their neighbours and loved the Lord.
Besides having an enormous sweet tooth, Uncle Gordon had a fascination with people’s weight. Every time we went back he had to get out the bathroom scales and we would weigh ourselves. It didn’t matter if you were the Queen of England, Uncle Gordon would get the scales out and ask you to jump on (LOL). To us, it was a joke. But, obviously, some folks were a bit perturbed. I don’t know what Uncle Gordon would do today with my weight! I can just hear him saying “O Gall” - his favourite saying.
As I reminisced the other day about Aunt Mina and Uncle Gordon, my thoughts went back to those scales. I got thinking about “Balance Scales.” These scales are traditionally associated with the law, as kind of a balancing act. While they can be used to demonstrate which one of two items is heavier than the other, today, they often are used more in a symbolic and decorative sense. Often they are used to depict good deeds versus bad deeds and the moral balancing act between the two. If the good outweighs the bad, then I am a good person or if I have more good deeds than bad, then God is pleased with me and so on.
That is partially true. God is pleased with us when we do good things and He does not want us to do bad things. However, this analogy misses the mark when it comes to relating to and pleasing God. It says, in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV).
We are saved by GRACE – God’s UNMERITED favour shown to us through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. If we can do something or add something to Christ’s finished work then it is not GRACE! Paul says to the Church in Rome, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:28 NIV). Christ died for us to free us from sin, both positionally and experimentally, to deliver us from our sin condition. Our works can never do it. It is only His work on the cross that sets us free. As Paul says, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law” (Romans 3:28 NIV). Christ’s finished work on the Cross has paid the price for our sin: past, present and future. What God asks us to do is to trust fully in what His Son has done for us and, by faith, make it ours! Then, as Ephesians 2:10 states, to do “GOOD WORKS” in love to thank Him for what he has done for us, not to earn merit before Him.
John Stott says it right, “The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross not the scales.” It is interesting how those little things in life, like Uncle Gordons scales, remind us of the precious truths of our Faith.
My friends, as we close this week praise Him for His love for you on the cross - a love that will never let you go. God bless you as we look forward to Sunday – Pastor Ralph