Christ, our Light

Quotations for March, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601

The very act of throwing ourselves on the mercy of God brings forth the confidence that God looks with favor on our request, since this act could only arise from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
... Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010), The Struggle of Prayer, Harper & Row, 1980, p. 47-48 (see the book; see also Acts 10:44-45; Joel 2:28-32; Luke 2:25-26; Acts 2:14-18,21,33; Rom. 8:26; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18; 6:18; Tit. 3:4-7; Jude 1:20; more at Confidence, God, Holy Spirit, Mercy)

Saturday, March 2, 2013
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672

I remember my Anthropology of Religion professor... urging us to ask not whether Jesus walked on water but what the gospel writer wanted to communicate by writing that Jesus walked on water... The professor’s answer, that the writer wanted to convey Jesus’ mastery over nature, and the dependence of the world of nature on something beyond it, seemed to conflict with his dismissal of Jesus’ actually walking on water. If Jesus didn’t, or couldn’t, walk on water, then what are we to make of the symbolic claim that nature depends on something beyond it? To maintain the dependence of nature in the face of Jesus’ inability to walk on water, command the wind and the waves, heal the sick, etc., is not contradictory, but it is epistemically undercutting in the sense that it involves asserting a thesis while denying the possibility of any evidence for it. That epistemic incoherence lies at the heart of the naturalistic, symbolic interpretation of Christianity that many leaders of the _____ Church currently embrace.
... Daniel A. Bonevac, from “Are You a Religious Extremist? Religion and the Academy,” in The Truth That Makes Them Free, Donald G. Davis, Jr., ed., Austin, Texas: Christian Faculty Network, 2011, p. 34 (see the book; see also John 6:16-21; Ps. 107:28-29; Matt. 8:24-27; 12:39-40; 14:22-33; 28:18; Mark 1:27; 4:37-41; 6:45-52; John 5:37-40; 10:25-26; 12:37; more at Dependence, Jesus, Nature, Religion, World)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Among our own people also the church sorely needs clergy in close touch with the ordinary life of the laity, living the life of ordinary men, sharing their difficulties and understanding their trials by close personal experience. Stipendiary clergy cut off by training and life from that common experience are constantly struggling to get close to the laity by wearing lay clothing, sharing in lay amusements, and organizing lay clubs; but they never quite succeed. To get close to men, it is necessary really to share their experience, and to share their experience is to share it by being in it, not merely to come as near to it as possible without being in it.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Case for Voluntary Clergy, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1930, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 150 (see the book; see also Acts 18:1-3; Isa. 53:2-5; Luke 22:27-28; Eph. 4:28; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15; 5:2; more at Affliction, Church, Experience, Life, Share, Trial, Understanding)

Monday, March 4, 2013
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647

Men despise the Church when it doesn’t stand for the Christian viewpoint. Not beginning with the absolute, the Kingdom, it becomes a part of the relativisms of kingdoms of this world.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), The Christ of the American Road, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1944, p. 217 (see the book; see also Acts 18:28; Matt. 13:44-48; Luke 17:20-21; Rom. 14:17-18; 2 Cor. 5:16-17; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Tim. 1:13; Jude 1:3; Rev. 12:10-11; more at Beginning, Church, Kingdom, Worldly)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I am having the depressing experience of reading congregational descriptions of what these churches want in a pastor. With hardly an exception they don’t want pastors at all—they want managers of their religious company. They want a pastor they can follow so they won’t have to bother with following Jesus anymore.
... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), in “On Being Unnecessary”, The Unnecessary Pastor, Marva J. Dawn, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000, p. 4 (see the book; see also Tit. 1:9; Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 16:24; Luke 5:27; 9:59-60; John 12:25-26; 1 Cor. 9:16-18; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Tim. 6:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:2-3; Tit. 1:5-8; Rev. 2:25; 3:11; more at Church, Depression, Experience, Jesus, Minister)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Knowing how susceptible we are to success’s siren call, God does not allow us to see, and therefore glory in, what is done through us. The very nature of the obedience He demands is that it be given without regard to circumstances or results.
... Charles W. Colson (1931-2012), Loving God, Zondervan, 2011 reprint, p. 23 (see the book; see also John 12:26; Eccl. 11:1-2; Jer. 26:13; Hab. 2:4; Matt. 6:34; Acts 15:28; John 3:8; 6:27; 13:16-17; 14:15,21; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 4:17; Heb. 13:16; Jas. 1:22; more at Call, Glory, God, Obedience, Success)

Thursday, March 7, 2013
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

Some go to the light of nature and the use of right reason (that is, their own) as their guides; and some add the additional documents of the philosophers. They think a saying of Epictetus, or Seneca, or Arrianus, being wittily suited to their fancies and affections, to have more life and power in it than any precept of the Gospel. The reason why these things are more pleasing unto them than the commands and instructions of Christ is because, proceeding from the spring of natural light, they are suited to the workings of natural fancy and understanding; but those of Christ, proceeding from the fountain of eternal spiritual light, are not comprehended in their beauty and excellency without a principle of the same light in us, guiding our understanding and influencing our affections. Hence, take any precept, general or particular, about moral duties, that is materially the same in the writings of philosophers and in the doctrine of the Gospel, not a few prefer it as delivered in the first way before the latter.
... John Owen (1616-1683), V.5 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V [1674], in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 633 (see the book; see also Prov. 16:25; 3:5-6; 12:15; Jer. 9:23-24; Mark 7:6-8; Luke 13:24; 1 Cor. 1:18-25; 2 Cor. 10:5; Gal. 6:3; Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; more at Apologetics, Christ, Duty, Gospel, Instruction, Morality, Philosophy, Pleasure, Reason)

Friday, March 8, 2013
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929

This making of your peace with God is not, and never can be, a mere matter of emotional surrender, however honest and sincere. It must be an act of the whole man, feeling, thinking, and doing, in every department of his life, in obedience to a great governing and controlling principle. It must be the response of the whole man to his whole world. God must be at least as big as the world if He is to be God at all. Religion applies either to everything or to nothing, and no department of life can be left outside of God. Whatever appears to be beyond His control must, to the religious man, become either a problem to solve or an obstacle to be overcome, and whatever is essentially opposed to Him must become an evil to be destroyed. The soul that has really made its peace with God simply cannot tolerate anything or anybody as being permanently outside of Him.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 22-23 (see the book; see also 1 Chr. 29:10-12; Ps. 1:1-2; 73:25; 85:8; Isa. 11:6-9; 25:6-8; Matt. 11:27; John 16:33; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:19-20; more at God, Life, Man, Obedience, Peace, Religion, World)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

There are many formidable obstacles in the pursuit of social justice. The challenge for the Christian is to put into concrete terms the revolutionary style of life lived by Christ; to translate into economics, education, politics, and human relationships that he is a “new creation”, who looks at no one and no situation from simply a human point of view of self-interest and self-concern. [Continued tomorrow]
... David Bronnert, “The Gospel and Culture”, in The Changing World, Bruce Kaye, ed., vol. 3 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 120 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:15; Pr. 21:3; Matt. 7:13-14; 24:14; Mark 16:15; John 3:16-17; Rom. 5:19; 1 Cor. 9:19; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:3-6; Jas. 2:15-16; more at Challenge, Christ, Justice, Life, Self, Simplicity, Social)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

[Continued from yesterday]
A love for others will result in the Christian being concerned for the total good of others: material, social and spiritual. A concern for the social and material should not be a substitute for man in his relationship with God, nor should it be viewed as a convenient bridge to the spiritual; rather, because he knows God, he reflects the character of God.
... David Bronnert, “The Gospel and Culture”, in The Changing World, Bruce Kaye, ed., vol. 3 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 120 (see the book; see also Jer. 9:23-24; Amos 5:14-15,23-24; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 25:34-36; Mark 12:32-34; John 3:3; 10:27; more at God, Goodness, Knowing God, Love, Spiritual life)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Man does not live for himself alone in this mortal body, in order to work on its account, but also for all men on earth; nay, he lives only for others, and not for himself. For it is to this end that he brings his own body into subjection, that he may be able to serve others more sincerely and more freely... Thus it is impossible that he should take his ease in this life, and not work for the good of his neighbors, since he must needs speak, act, and converse among men, just as Christ... had His conversation among men...
It is the part of a Christian to take care of his own body for the very purpose that by its soundness and wellbeing he may be enabled to labor... for the aid of those who are in want, that thus the stronger member may serve the weaker member, and we may be children of God, and busy for one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and so fulfilling the law of Christ.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Treatise on Christian Liberty [1520], p. 335-336 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:2; John 15:13; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:15-20; Phil. 2:3; 1 Tim. 5:23; Rev. 14:13; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Life, Man, Mortality, Purpose, Service, Stewardship, Strength, Work)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them: show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability... Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration they say just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God!
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Spiritual Letters of Archbishop Fénelon. Letters to men, London: Rivingtons, 1877, p. 205-206 (see the book; see also Ps. 88:1-3; 62:8; 142:2; Lam. 2:19; Mark 14:35-36; Rom. 8:26; Heb. 4:16; more at Blessing, Comfort, Evil, Friend, God, Heart, Joy, Pain, Pleasure, Prayer, Purity, Temptation, Trouble)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

If criticism has made such discoveries as to necessitate the abandonment of the doctrine of plenary inspiration, it is not enough to say that we are compelled to abandon only a “particular theory of inspiration,” though that is true enough. We must go on to say that that “particular theory of inspiration” is the theory of the apostles and of the Lord, and that in abandoning it we are abandoning them.
... Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), The Presbyterian and Reformed Review, Volume 4, 1893, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Review, 1893, p. 185-186 (see the book; see also Mark 12:36; 2 Sam. 23:2; Matt. 22:43; Luke 1:70; Acts 28:25; Rom. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; more at Bible, Criticism, Discovery, God, Inspiration, Truth)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Above all, the group must keep remembering that true growth in grace is not to be achieved by our own efforts or contriving, but must be received as the gift of God’s Spirit, working in, and among, us. The work of the group is to keep open the channels of receptiveness through study, discipline, prayer, and self-offering... When a group learns to live in this faith, it can keep the lines of endeavor tentative and sensitive to new headings and possibilities, on the one hand; and on the other, move forward resolutely under such light as is now given.
... John L. Casteel (1903-1993/5), Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 195 (see the book; see also Acts 13:2-4; Lev. 26:12; Luke 11:13; John 16:13; Acts 15:28; Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:8-9; Phil. 2:5-7; Heb. 6:1-3; more at Church, Discipline, Faith, Gifts, Grace, Growth, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Work)

Friday, March 15, 2013

It is characteristic of the thinking of our time that the problem of guilt and forgiveness has been pushed into the background and seems to disappear more and more. Modern thought is impersonal. There are, even to-day, a great many people who understand that man needs salvation, but there are very few who are convinced that he needs forgiveness and redemption... Sin is understood as imperfection, sensuality, [worldliness]—but not as guilt.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World, London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1931, p. 49 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:4; Matt. 6:12,14-15; Luke 1:76-79; 24:46-47; Acts 16:29-31; Rom. 7:13; Jas. 2:10; more at Forgiveness, Guilt, Redemption, Salvation, Sin, Worldly)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A genuine Christian should be a walking mystery because he surely is a walking miracle. Through the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is involved in a daily life and habit that cannot be explained.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Whatever Happened to Worship?, Christian Publications, 1985, p. 75 (see the book; see also John 16:13-15; Matt. 9:5-8; John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:10-16; Phil. 1:27-28; 2:14-16; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; 1 John 2:20; more at Holy Spirit, Life, Miracle, Power)

Sunday, March 17, 2013
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460

Oh, friends, it is not that God is going to judge us some day. That is not the awful thing. It is that God knows us now. If I stop an instant and know that God knows me through all these misconceptions and blunders of my brethren, that God knows me—that is the awful thing. The future judgment shall but tell it. It is here, here upon my conscience, now.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), from “The Beauty of a Life of Service”, in Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 28 (see the book; see also Heb. 4:13; 1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Chr. 28:9; Matt. 9:4; 19:28; Mark 2:8; Luke 5:22; John 2:24; 5:41-42; 6:64; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:13-16; Jas. 5:9; more at Conscience, God, Judgment, Knowledge)

Monday, March 18, 2013

The world and worldly things must be used with discretion, for without them life is not only difficult but impossible. For this very purpose God created the world that men might make use of it, but men should not drown themselves in it, for thus the breath of prayer is stopped and they perish.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), At the Master’s Feet, Fleming H. Revell, 1922, p. 45 (see the book; see also Matt. 13:22; Gen. 1:29; 2:15,19-20; 9:1-3; Matt. 6:24-25; Luke 12:15; 21:34; Rom. 1:20-25; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:20-21; Heb. 2:7-8; 1 John 2:15-16; more at God, Life, Prayer, Purpose, World, Worldly)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth

We cannot pray and believe to order. Neither faith nor prayer is at the bidding of authority. We cannot believe merely because we are told we ought to believe, and that we shall be damned if we do not. Faith is possible only where the truth finds an answering note in the soul.
... Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932), Humanity and God, Hodder and Stoughton, 1904, p. 305 (see the book; see also John 8:30-32; 1:11-13; 3:12; 7:5; 10:25-27; 12:37; Acts 2:41,46-47; 5:14; 6:7; 13:12,48; 17:34; 18:27; Rom. 10:14-17; more at Belief, Faith, Prayer, Soul, Truth)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687

To need God is nothing to be ashamed of but is perfection itself. It is the saddest thing of all if a human being goes through life without discovering that he needs God.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses, tr. H. V. Hong, Princeton University Press, 1992, p. 303 (see the book; see also Rev. 3:17-18; Deut. 8:11-14; Ps. 102:19-20; 130:1-2; 147:3; Joel 2:32; Matt. 9:11-13; 19:21-24; Mark 2:17; Luke 4:18-19; 5:31; 15:7; Acts 2:21; Rom. 7:24; more at Agnosticism, Discovery, God, Life, Need, Perfection, Sadness)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

For a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the centre, where we are anchored in God: a life soaked through and through by a sense of His reality and claim, and self-given to the great movement of His will.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Spiritual Life, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1937, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1985, p. 36 (see the book; see also Mark 2:14; Deut. 6:5; Ps. 1:2; 51:6; Matt. 5:6; John 4:34; 6:27,38-40; 14:16-17; Rom. 8:10; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Col. 3:1-3; more at Existence, God, Spiritual life, Will of God)

Friday, March 22, 2013

When one takes theology or creed as the center of Christianity, it naturally follows that there must inevitably be a division of Christians into denominations and sects.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 3 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 11:18; Isa. 29:13; Matt. 12:25; John 5:39-40; 17:20-23; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 12:22-26; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8,22; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 6:20-21; 2 Tim. 2:16; more at Creed, Discord, Dispute, Theology)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Christ will be Master of the heart, and sin must be mortified... If your life is unholy your heart is unchanged; and if your heart is unchanged you are an unsaved person. If the Saviour has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, He has done nothing in you of a saving character. The grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people not in their sins, but from them.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), for Feb. 8, Evening by Evening, New York: Sheldon and Company, 1869, p. 39 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:14-16; Ps. 130:7-8; Eze. 36:25-29; Matt. 1:21; John 1:29; Acts 3:26; Rom. 6:22; Phil. 3:12-14; 1 Thes. 4:7; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 12:10,14; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 7:13-14; more at Christ, Grace, Heart, Holiness, Life, Master, Salvation, Sin)

Sunday, March 24, 2013
Palm Sunday
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953

The bulk of professed Christians are used to speak of man as of a being, who, naturally pure, and inclined to all virtue, is sometimes, almost involuntarily, drawn out of the right course, or is overpowered by the violence of temptation...
Far different is the humiliating language of Christianity. From it we learn that man is an apostate creature, fallen from his high original, degraded in his nature, and depraved in his faculties: indisposed to good, and disposed to evil; prone to vice—it is natural and easy to him; disinclined to virtue—it is difficult and laborious; he is tainted with sin, not slightly and superficially, but radically and to the very core.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 85-86 (see the book; see also Mark 7:21-23; Gen. 6:5; Ps. 51:5; Matt. 15:19-20; Rom. 3:9-18; 7:18; Eph. 2:1-5; Tit. 3:3; more at Apostasy, Depravity, Evil, Humility, Man, Nature, Sin, Temptation, Virtue)

Monday, March 25, 2013
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary

[Experience] is the only thing that teaches us the articles of our creed in a way worth learning them. Every one of us carries professed beliefs, which lie there inoperative, bedridden, in the hospital and dormitory of our souls, until some great necessity or sudden circumstance comes that flings a beam of light upon them, and then they start and waken. We do not know the use of the sword until we are in battle. Until the shipwreck comes, no man puts on the lifebelt in his cabin. Every one of us has large tracts of Christian truth which we think we most surely believe, but which need experience to quicken them, and need us to grow up into the possession of them. Of all our teachers who turn beliefs assented to into beliefs really believed none is so mighty as sorrow; for that makes a man lay a firm hold on the deep things of God’s Word.
... Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), The Holy of Holies, London: Alexander & Shepheard, 1890, p. 361-362 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 7:10-11; Matt. 26:75; Luke 18:10-14; Eph. 4:26; 6:13-17; more at Belief, Creed, Experience, God, Need, Sorrow, Teach, Truth)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883

Easter is not the celebration of a past event. The alleluia is not for what was; Easter proclaims a beginning which has already decided the remotest future. The Resurrection means that the beginning of glory has already started.
... Karl Rahner (1904-1984), Everyday Faith, Herder and Herder, 1968, p. 71 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:10-11; Ps. 16:9-10; 49:15; John 6:39-40; 14:19; 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:13-14; 5:1-5; Phil. 3:10-11,20-21; 1 Thess. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:7-10; Rev. 1:18; more at Beginning, Easter, Future, Glory, Past, Resurrection)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

They say it was old sins that troubled him, the past failures of the man, that made things difficult for him now. There had been days when he had been too hectoring or domineering; so, at least, these impossible people had said, though he himself denied it still. At all events, protesting to Rome, they had won the Emperor’s ear, and humbled their governor. And that must not happen again. Ah, me! Is not this life of ours a fearsome thing? Take care! take care! for if you sin that sin, be sure that somehow you will pay for it—and, it may be, at how hideous a price! So Pilate found in his day; so you, too, will find it in ours... Only God knows what may come out of that, if you give way to it. Pilate was curt and domineering to the Jews one day. And it was because of that, months later, his unwilling hands set up the cross of Christ: unwilling—but they did it. Take you care! for sin is very merciless. If you have had the sweet, [sin] will see to it that you quaff the bitter to the very dregs.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 134 (see the book; see also Matt. 27:11-24; Mark 15:2-15; Luke 23:4,13-24; John 18:33-38; 19:4-16; 1 Cor. 2:8; more at Bitterness, Cross, Failure, People, Sin, Trouble)

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Maundy Thursday

There is joy and strength, of course, in this holy food and drink, but it is also an inevitable joining of forces with the vast Scheme of reconciliation and redemption. Now, there is something in our natural selves that may well make us wary of such a contact. The man who in his heart intends to go on being selfish or proud, or who has already decided how far his Christian convictions should carry him, is probably obeying a sound instinct when he keeps away from this glorious but perilous Sacrament. For, if the truth be told, men are often willing to put their trust in a god who in the end must be triumphant, simply because they want to be on the winning side; but they are not nearly so ready to bear any part of the cost of that winning. Yet the fellowship of the broken bread and the poured-out wine can mean no less than that.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Appointment with God, New York, Macmillan, 1954, p. 26 (see the book; see also Matt. 20:22-23; 8:19-20; 10:22; Luke 14:28-33; 1 Cor. 11:27-29; Col. 1:24; Heb. 10:37-38; more at Bread, Church, Fellowship, God, Intention, Joy, Pride, Reconciliation, Redemption, Sacrament, Selfish, Strength, Trust)

Friday, March 29, 2013
Good Friday
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974

The progress of these terrors is plainly shown us in our Lord’s agony in the garden, when the reality of this eternal death so broke in upon Him, so awakened and stirred itself in Him, as to force great drops of blood to sweat from His body... His agony was His entrance into the last, eternal terrors of the lost soul, into the real horrors of that dreadful, eternal death, which man unredeemed must have died into when he left this world. We are therefore not to consider our Lord’s death upon the Cross, as only the death of that mortal body which was nailed to it, but we are to look upon Him with wounded hearts, as being fixed and fastened in the state of that two-fold death, which was due to the fallen nature, out of which He could not come till He could say, “It is finished; Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
... William Law (1686-1761), An Appeal to All that Doubt [1740], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VI, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 146 (see the book; see also Matt. 26:39-42; Mark 14:35-36; Luke 22:41-44; 23:46; John 12:27-28; 19:30; more at Cross, Death, Easter, Heart, Mortality, Terror)

Saturday, March 30, 2013
Holy Saturday

Men and women disbelieve the Easter story not because of the evidence but in spite of it. It is not that they weigh the evidence with open minds, assess its relevance and cogency and finally decide that it is suspect or inadequate. Instead, they start with the a priori conviction that the resurrection of Christ would constitute such an incredible event that it could not be accepted or believed without scientific demonstration of an irrefutable nature. But it is idle to demand proof of this sort for any event in history. Historical evidence, from its very nature, can never amount to more than a very high degree of probability.
... J. N. D. Anderson (1908-1994), Christianity: the Witness of History, Tyndale Press, 1969, p. 105-106 (see the book; see also Matt. 28:12-15; 27:62-66; Mark 8:31-33; Luke 24:5-6; Acts 5:40; more at Belief, Easter, Historical, Proof, Resurrection)

Sunday, March 31, 2013
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
... John Updike (1932-2009), from “Seven Stanzas at Easter”, in Telephone Poles and Other Poems, New York: A. Knopf, 1963, p. 72 (see the book; see also Matt. 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-7; John 11:25; 14:19; Phil. 3:10-11; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 1:18; more at Belief, Church, Resurrection)


Christ, our Light

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Last updated: 03/29/23

























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