A CANADIAN THANKSGIVING
By Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario, Monday October 8, 2007
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. Services were held yesterday (being Sunday) in thousands of church congregations. People were reminded of the lakes, and flowers, and fruit, and freedom, and family life that we enjoy in abundance. Each of us has particular reasons to be thankful, but in my case I am thankful for the 60 wonderful years since Jesus, the Messiah Son of God, came into my life.
I had been a militant atheist throughout my five years in the army during the war. At the beginning of my first year to study economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, I certainly had no reason to become a Christian. On October 7, 1947 I was persuaded to attend a meeting where Professor Norman Anderson was the speaker. I thought he was talking pious nonsense. But then that night back in my digs Jesus came to me, and I changed instantly from atheism to faith. Next morning I bought myself a Bible and my Christian life began. Not a day has passed in the 60 years since then when I have not talked to the one I discovered was the Messiah Son of God.
In the Christian Union I was taught that three steps are needed to be born again. (A) you have to admit your need of forgiveness. (B) you have to believe Jesus can save you. (C) you have to come to him. None of those three steps seemed to apply in my case. I did not have any sense of being a sinner more than most. I did not have any faith in Jesus. And I certainly did not come to him: he came for me.
Since then I have known Christians who cannot remember a day when they did not know the Lord. Others came to faith after a long struggle. In India many came in as part of a mass or tribal movement. These days there are reports of how Muslims have had a vision of the Messiah reigning among the nations. They may still attend a mosque, but their conversation is with Jesus.
The only thing common to all of these is a personal relationship with the Son of God. That is what counts, and that is the great reason for our thanksgiving today.
(For a fuller account of my conversion from atheism see among the books on this website Autobio 2000 chapter 5)