The Issue at Hand, April 2021

Our use of the word “passion” has changed since its first use. Today you may hear it used by people like this: “I am passionate about my work.” What they mean, generally, is that they love what they do, and they exert themselves to do their best. Passion can also describe the bond of love and desire between a husband and a wife. But these examples of current usage of the word are not an entirely accurate reflection of how the word was originally used when it was coined in the 12th or 13th century. Originally, the word “passion” referred specifically to the suffering and submission of Jesus Christ during the last week of his life on earth.

Consider for instance the account of Jesus on the mount of Olives after the Last Supper (Matt. 26). His prayer while the disciples dozed is representative of his submission. He prayed: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (v. 39). Not his will, but God’s will. He submitted. Again, we read in verse 42: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” He knew very well what was coming. Intense agony and humiliation on the cross and in the hours before. He was a man like us, therefore he knew he would feel every bit of the pain and disgrace. His answer to that coming affliction? So be it. Thy will be done. That is true passion. A passion that was for us and to the glory of his Father. Don’t forget that fact as you read through the articles in this issue of Beacon Lights. Every thought, word, and action by Jesus during the last week of his life on earth was for our salvation, to the glory of God.

You may have noticed in the past couple of issues that the inside cover of the magazine describes the editor position as “Position Open.” For the past 3 years, Dewey Engelsma has faithfully labored as editor of the magazine. January 2021 was the end of Dewey’s 3-year term as editor. In light of recent events in our churches, Dewey requested to step down as editor at the end of his term. I had the privilege of working closely with Dewey for the majority of his time with Beacon Lights and came to appreciate Dewey as a friend, fellow laborer, and man of God. I, along with the rest of the Beacon Lights staff thank him for the work that he did. The magazine is truly better as a result of his leadership and his love for the young people.


Originally published April 2021, Vol 80 No 4