An anchor and honesty

The Standard April 7. 2022

A crusty New Englander, William Everett Manson demonstrated several notably positive attributes throughout his life. An evident one was his unwavering practice of honesty. In 30 years of federal service, mostly as a procurement officer for the United States Department of the Navy, my father was careful never to bring home anything that belonged to the U.S. government, even something as small as a pen. My mother would say as small as a paper clip.

One Saturday when I was young, I went downtown with him to Fawcett Boat Supplies by the city dock in Annapolis, MD.  Walking through the parking lot I happened to notice a gold anchor pendant on the ground. Dad knew exactly how best to handle a situation like that. We went inside the store and left the charm and our rotary-dial home phone number with a manager or the employee in charge. They decided that if the jewelry owner had not contacted the store within a certain number of weeks, I would get to keep the anchor.  

No one ended up asking at the boating store about the lost pendant, so I got to keep it. When I wear it, it makes me think about two things. It reminds me of being with my dad and his example of honesty. Although it does not always work out this way, it seems that quite often children who are raised by honest parents or honest people tend to exhibit that quality as adults.

More importantly, the charm reminds me that Jesus is my anchor. As the beloved hymn by Edward Mote says, “In every rough and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the vale. When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

I hope that today you rely on Christ, unchanging and completely dependable, as the anchor for your soul. Through the Son we have direct access to the Father. The curtain of the temple no longer separates us from the Holy of Holies.

“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20).

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