This provided all kinds of fodder for this preacher's musings. Was this a heavenly newspaper or an earthly one? Was the cartoon's point that Richard Nixon could deny history's judgment of him but not heaven's? And then there is the fact that the cartoon depicted Nixon with angel's wings. Could a crook end up in heaven? Anyone who knows the gospel knows that a crook can. (If it were not so, there would be hope for none of us). Heaven's judgment is merciful as well as accurate.
I reflected again too on Senator Sam Ervine's comment after Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon about the pardon powers of the President being greater than those of the Almighty. Ervine pointed out that God can only pardon those who repent. Ervine's point was well taken. It is true that the only thing that prevents a person's receiving God's grace is their unwillingness to admit their need of it, but I am not sure Ervine was completely right. Specifically, I am not sure which really comes first, grace or repentance. It most certainly is God's grace that produces our repentance rather than the other way around. After all, it was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us--Richard Nixon, and you and me.
©C. David Hess