Christ, our Light

Quotations for June, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540

LORD, who hast taught to us on earth
This lesson from above,
That all our works are nothing worth,
Unless they spring from love;
Send down thy Spirit from on high,
And pour in all our hearts
That precious gift of charity,
Which peace and joy imparts:
The healing balm, the holy oil
Which calms the waves of strife,
The drop which sweetens every toil,
The breath of our new life.
Without this blessed bond of peace
God counts the living dead:
O heavenly Father, grant us this,
Through Christ, the living Head.
Let all who love the Lord join hands
To aid the common good,
And knit more close the sacred bands
Of Christian brotherhood.
Make all thy pastors one, O Lord,
In heart, in mind, in speech,
That they may set forth thy pure word,
And live the life they preach.
Let all hold fast the truths whereby
A church must stand or fall;
In doubtful things grant liberty,
Show charity in all.
Thus shall we to our sacred name
Our title clearly prove,
While even our enemies exclaim,
”See how these Christians love.”
... Richard Massie (1800-1887), A Collection of Hymns, for the use of the people called Methodists, John Wesley, London: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1876, #822, p. 744-745 (see the book; see also John 13:34-35; 15:12,17; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 John 3:23-24; 2 John 1:5-6; more at Charity, Church, Joy, Love, Peace, Prayers, Preach, Spirit, Teach, Truth, Work)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Some pretending highly to moderation on both sides, especially among the Protestants, hope that [peace] may be attained by mutual condescension of the parties at variance, contemperation of opinions and practices unto the present distant apprehensions and interests of the chief leaders of either side: what issue and event their desires, hopes, and attempts will have, time will show to all the world. For my part, until, by a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of God from on high, I see Christians in profession agreeing in pursuing the ends of Christianity, endeavouring to be followers of Jesus Christ in a conversation becoming the Gospel, without trusting to the parties wherein they are engaged, I shall have very little hopes to see any unity amongst us that shall be one jot better than our present differences. [Continued tomorrow]
... John Owen (1616-1683), “A Vindication of the Animadversions on ‘Fiat Lux’” [1664], in Works of John Owen, v. XIV, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 312 (see the book; see also Rom. 15:5-7; Phil. 2:1-2; 3:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:8; more at Church, Endeavor, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Hope, Peace, Unity)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978

[Continued from yesterday]
The present face of Christianity makes the world a wearisome wilderness; nor should I think any thing a more necessary duty than it would be for persons of piety and ability to apologize for the religion of Jesus Christ, and to show how unconcerned it is in the ways and practices of the most that profess it, and how utterly another thing it is from what in the world it is represented to be, ... were it not that I suppose it more immediately incumbent on them and us all to do the same work in a real expression of its power and excellency, in such a kind of goodness, holiness, righteousness, and heavenliness of conversation, as the world is only as yet in secret acquainted withal. When this is done, the way for a further agreement will be open and facile; and until it be so, ... we shall have no end of our quarrels.
... John Owen (1616-1683), “A Vindication of the Animadversions on ‘Fiat Lux’” [1664], in Works of John Owen, v. XIV, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 312-313 (see the book; see also John 10:16; 17:21-23; Rom. 15:5-6; 1 Cor. 1:10; more at Church, Goodness, Holiness, Kindness, Quarrel, Righteousness, World)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664) (see also Prov. 3:11-12; Ps. 19:9-10; 119:103; Acts 5:41; 2 Cor. 11:23-30; Phil. 1:12-14; ; more at Affliction, Blessing, God, Weakness)

Friday, June 5, 2020
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

What so spoke to [Paul] from the third chapter of Genesis was not a ... story of how death invaded Paradise, but the profound experience of the human race expressed in the story, an experience in which sin and death interpenetrate, and in a sense constitute each other. To us, they are what they are only in relation to each other, and when we deny the relation we see the reality of neither. This is the truth, as I apprehend it, of all we are taught, either in the Old Testament or the New, about the relation of sin and death. It is part of the greater truth that what we call the physical and spiritual worlds are ultimately one, being constituted with a view to each other; and most of the objections which are raised against it are special cases of the objections which are raised against the recognition of this ultimate unity.
... James Denney (1856-1917), The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, p. 68 (see the book; see also Rom. 5:12-15; Gen. 3; Isa. 55:8-9; John 3:16; 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:45-47; more at Bible, Death, Experience, Fall, Sin, Spiritual life, Unity)

Saturday, June 6, 2020
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945

“Faith” in biblical terms is never a bare decision, or a general “spiritual” approach to life. It is always defined by its content, and the content of saving faith must be Jesus Christ. It is therefore certainly not enough to assume that anyone with however vague a “religious” approach to life must be a Christian in disguise; some of Jesus’ harshest words were reserved precisely for the “religious” people of his day.
... Michael Sadgrove (b. 1950) & N. T. Wright (b. 1948), “Jesus Christ the Only Saviour”, in The Lord Christ [1980], John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 78 (see the book; see also Luke 11:44-46; Ps. 24:1-2; Matt. 21:23-27; 23:27-28; John 14:6; Jas. 4:4; more at Attitudes, Christ, Faith, Jesus, People, Religion, Salvation)

Sunday, June 7, 2020
Trinity Sunday

We enter into the Mystery of the Holy Trinity not so much by thinking and imagining, as by loving. Thought and imagination soon reach the limits beyond which they cannot pass, and these limits still fall infinitely short of the reality of God. But love, overstepping all bounds and flying beyond limitations with the wings of God’s own Spirit, penetrates into the very depths of the mystery and apprehends Him Whom our intelligence is unable to see.
... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), The Living Bread, Farrar, New York: Straus & Cudahy, 1956; reprint, Macmillan, 1980, p. 51 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:12-13; Isa. 40:31; Luke 3:21-22; John 14:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:10; 1 John 4:7; more at Apprehension, God, Holy Spirit, Love, Trinity)

Monday, June 8, 2020
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947

The great heresies in the early Church arose not from the rapid expansion result of these unknown [and untrained] teachers; but in those churches which were longest established, and where the Christians were not so busily engaged in converting the heathen around them. The Church of that day was apparently quite fearless of any dangers that the influx of large numbers of what we should call illiterate converts might lower the standard of church doctrine. She held the tradition handed down by the apostles, and expected the new converts to grow up into it, to maintain it and to propagate it. And so in fact they did. The danger to doctrine lay not in these illiterate converts on the outskirts; but at home, in places like Ephesus and Alexandria, amongst the more highly educated and philosophically minded Christians. It was against them that she had to maintain the doctrine.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It, London: World Dominion Press, 1949, reprint, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, p. 64 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 11:3-4; Acts 15:28-29; 17:22-32; 1 Cor. 11:18-19; Gal. 1:6-8; 3:1-5; Eph. 4:14-15; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:2-5; Tit. 1:7-9; Jude 1:3; more at Church, Conversion, Danger, Heresy, Home, Tradition)

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373

The [early] Church maintained her doctrine by thinking it so clear that any one could understand it: we maintain our doctrine by treating it as so complicated that only theologians can understand it. Consequently, the Church then was quite prepared that any man who believed in Christ should teach others what he knew of Him: we are only prepared to allow men whom we have specially trained to teach it.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It, London: World Dominion Press, 1949, reprint, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, p. 65 (see the book; see also 1 John 3:10; Ps. 19:7; Acts 4:13; Rom. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 3:8-9; 2 Pet. 3:15-18; more at Belief, Church, Knowing God, Man, Theology, Thought)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

What we call the meekness of Our Lord is more than an aspect of His character: it is its fundamental principle. There is nothing in it of the “inert door-mat”; it was, and is, the practice of uncompromising and unyielding love, the exposition of a new technique in dealing with evil. I believe it to be the business of Christians, especially to-day, first to realize, and then to proclaim, this revolutionary technique as the only way to peace and justice. It won’t be easy, for meekness has little “face value” compared with armaments; but, if the Cross means anything at all, it is the vindication of meekness as the most dynamic and explosive force that humanity has ever known.
... Donald O. Soper (1903-1998), Popular Fallacies about the Christian Faith, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1938, p. 76 (see the book; see also Ps. 37:11; Matt. 11:29; Phil. 2:14-15; Col. 3:12-13;Jas. 3:17-18; 1 Pet. 2:21-23; more at Cross, Evil, Justice, Love, Meekness, Peace, Preach, Way)

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle

I sometimes have a bright dream of reunion engulfing us unawares, like a great wave from behind our backs, perhaps at the very moment when our official representatives are still pronouncing it impossible. Discussions usually separate us; actions sometimes unite us.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 16 (see the book; see also Ps. 133:1; Acts 4:32; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:27; 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 3:8; more at Action, Church, Dispute, Dream, Unity)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Elijah stood in the direct line of this tradition [of prophets]. The prophet of Yahweh was still an inspired seer, whose oracles followed the ecstatic model and were seldom remembered long; the time had not come for marvelous poetic sermons, composed in advance, delivered orally and written down later by enthralled listeners or recited from generation to generation until collected into anthologies by later scholars. Pious Israelites were not far wrong in distinguishing between true prophets and false prophets of Yahweh by the impact of their words on the privileged classes; if the latter were pleased the prophet was false; if they were displeased the prophet was true.
... William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra, Harper & Row, 1963, p. 65 (see the book; see also Isa. 30:10-11; 1 Kings 22:8; Jer. 23:30-32; Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:51-52; more at God, Inspiration, Prophet, Sermon, Tradition, Truth)

Saturday, June 13, 2020
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936

Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. “He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,” is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry: the Christian courage, which is a disdain of death; not the [Oriental] courage, which is a disdain of life.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy, London, New York: John Lane Company, 1909, p. 170 (see the book; see also Matt. 16:25; Ps. 31:24; Acts 4:13; 7:52-58; Heb. 13:6; more at Attitudes, Courage, Death, Heroism, Life, Paradox, Philosophy, Saint)

Sunday, June 14, 2020
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691

God takes men’s hearty desires and will, instead of the deed, where they have not power to fulfill them; but He never took the bare deed instead of the will.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions and Persuasions to a Sound Conversion, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. VIII, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 174 (see the book; see also Matt. 15:8-14; Mal. 2:7-8; Matt. 21:28-32; John 4:23-24; Eph. 4:17-19; more at Deed, Intention, Power, Redemption)

Monday, June 15, 2020
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941

Christianity is not an argument, and Christianity is not given us in the form of logic but in the form of beauty and love.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Light of Christ, New York: Longmans, Green, 1949, p. 30 (see the book; see also Joel 2:28-29; Matt. 4:23; 13:44; Gal. 3:8; more at Argument, Beauty, Christ, Logic, Love)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752

Whatever be our conception of the universe we must, it is obvious, start somehow; we must begin with something; and the something with which we begin, from the very fact that we do begin with it, must itself be without explanation, since, if something else were invoked to explain it, then the “something else” must needs be logically prior to that which it is invoked to explain. Thus the “something” being explained by a logically prior “something else” could not have been ultimate.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), God and Evil, New York: Harper, 1943, p. 87 (see the book; see also Gen. 1:1-2; John 1:1-5; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2; more at Apologetics, Beginning, Creation, Logic, Reason, Universe)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936

Evangelism and social concern are like the two wings of a bird. Without an intimate association of the two, the church cannot hope to grow over the long term.
... Thomas Houston, former president, World Vision International, in a private communication from World Vision (see also Matt. 9:5; 10:42; Mark 9:41; 12:42-43; Acts 3:6; 8:4; 2 Cor. 8:12; more at Church, Evangelization, Growth, Social)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Fundamentalism is widely spoken against because many assume that an adequate doctrine of evolution is available, and is the truth, and that any protest against it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit who is speaking to us through the doctrine of evolution. Many also take it as proven that the criticism of the Bible has produced certain assured results which in fact destroy the old Christian orthodoxy, and in particular the catastrophic view of history which is the background of the Biblical imagery. It is therefore supposed that the Biblical criticism has unearthed a simple humanist or humanitarian history behind the Biblical narratives, and that the Bible, as it stands, needs a radical reinterpretation which will bring it into line with other discoveries in other branches of knowledge. Now, of course, to all who are thus persuaded, the appearance of Fundamentalism, or a return to the old Biblical language taken at its face value, is just a blasphemy against modern knowledge and a return to the pre-critical, and is therefore quite hopelessly reactionary.
If Fundamentalism were no more than a protest against the tyranny of a rather superficial doctrine of evolution claiming the right to interpret and remould the truths of the Christian religion, and if it were no more than a criticism of the intolerable dogmatism of a very influential section of Biblical critics, it would be exceedingly difficult for us not to side wholly and convincedly with the Fundamentalists in their insistence on the necessity of a return to the Bible, and to refrain from pointing out that the Church is inevitably Fundamentalist in this sense.
... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 65-66 (see the book; see also Jude 1:3-5; Acts 17:32; Rom. 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 1:19-23; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21; more at Bible, Blasphemy, Church, Criticism, Discovery, Forebear, Historical, Holy Spirit, Knowledge, Religion, Truth, Tyranny)

Friday, June 19, 2020
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929

The Church is called ‘the body of Christ’ because the relation between Christ and Christians is not that between a master and his servants. It is more than that. Christians are Christ’s own parts. They are not only friends of Christ, they are Christ Himself. He breathes through them.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, B. H. Streeter & A. J. Appasamy, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922, p. 54 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 14:12; Rom. 15:2; 1 Cor. 12:13,24-28; 2 Cor. 12:19; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Thess. 5:11; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Friend)

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Holy Spirit is ... born from Love and is of Love, all its treasures are of love, and if we are to believe our Gospels it is received by love and love only. I am aware that to talk of love vaguely like this is not much help. I know how difficult it is to die to pride and self-concern, to the cowardice of a spiritual apathy that dare not face itself for what it fears to know. I know how difficult it is to remember, and to act as though we knew, that only forgiveness has a Resurrection, resentment has not—all those things that are the great and tormenting enemies to Love and its gracious freedoms.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 64 (see the book; see also John 6:63; Rom. 5:5; Eph. 2:17-18; Gal. 5:22; 6:8; 2 Pet. 1:21; Rev. 22:17; more at Forgiveness, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Love, Pride, Resurrection, Self, Treasure)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Christ and the Pagan
I had no God but these,
The sacerdotal trees,
And they uplifted me,
“I hung upon a Tree.”
The sun and moon I saw,
And reverential awe
Subdued me day and night,
“I am the perfect light.”
Within a lifeless stone—
All other gods unknown—
I sought Divinity,
“The Corner-stone am I.”
For sacrificial feast
I slaughtered man and beast,
Red recompense to gain.
“So I, a Lamb, was slain.”
“Yea, such My hungering Grace
That whereso’er My face
Is hidden, none may grope
Beyond eternal Hope.”
... John Banister Tabb (1845-1909), Later Poems, New York: M. Kennerley, 1910, p. 11-12 (see the book; see also Matt. 21:42-44; Ps. 118:22; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; 1 Pet. 3:15; Rev. 5:12; more at Apologetics, Everlasting, Grace, Hope, Lamb, Pagan, Tree)

Monday, June 22, 2020
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209

Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or cleverness of expression. It has laid aside “excellency of speech or of wisdom”; it has no confidence in “persuasive words of wisdom” but operates in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
... Arthur Wallis (1922-1988), In the Day of Thy Power: the Scriptural principles of revival, Fort Washington, Pa.: Christian Literature Crusade, 1956, p. 85 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 21:14-15; 1 Cor. 2:1-4; more at Beauty, Confidence, Holy Spirit, Power, Preach, Spirit, Wisdom)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678

The guidance of the Spirit is generally by gentle suggestions or drawings, and not in violent pushes; and it requires great childlikeness of heart to be faithful to it. The secret of being made willing lies in a definite giving up of our will. As soon as we put our will on to God’s side, He immediately takes possession of it and begins to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
... Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911), Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, M. E. Dieter, ed., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan 1994, p. 134 (see the book; see also Ps. 25:8-9; 23:1-3; Isa. 40:11; John 10:3-4; 16:13; more at Gentleness, Guidance, Holy Spirit, Submission, Will of God)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The Holy Spirit [is] the source of spiritual unity! He is the Fount of all true joy! ... We as missionaries need the fullness of this joy. Without it our work will be a burden to us, and we shall toil on with the hearts of slaves; and the hearts of slaves are never strong.
... Griffith John (1831-1912), “The Holy Spirit in Connection with our Work”, in Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1878, p. 36,38 (see the book; see also Luke 11:13; John 7:37-39; Acts 13:52; Rom. 15:13; 1 Cor. 12:7-12; Phil. 2:1-2; more at Fullness, Heart, Holy Spirit, Joy, Missionary, Slave, Unity)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

There are times when we cannot pray in words, or pray as we ought; but our inarticulate longings for a better life are the Spirit’s intercessions on our behalf, audible to God who searches all hearts, and intelligible and acceptable to Him since they are the voice of His Spirit, and it is according to His will that the Spirit should intercede for the members of His Son.
... Henry Barclay Swete (1835-1917), The Holy Spirit in the New Testament, London: Macmillan, 1909, p. 221 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:26-27; Neh. 9:19-20; Rom. 8:15,34; 15:13; more at God, Heart, Holy Spirit, Intercession, Prayer, Search, Son, Spirit)

Friday, June 26, 2020

Since the days before Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that [the Spirit’s] power might be manifested? ... We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.
... J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), “The Source of Power for Christian Missions”, in The Missionary Review of the World, v. LIII, Missionary Review Publishing Co., Inc., 1930, p. 516 (see the book; see also Acts 2:15-17; 1:4-5; 4:31; 1 Thess. 1:4-5; more at Church, Holy Spirit, Patience, Pentecost, Power)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

We say, and we say openly, and while ye torture us, mangled and gory we cry out, “We worship God through Christ:” believe Him a man: it is through Him and in Him that God willeth Himself to be known and worshipped.
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), Tertullian: Apologetic and practical treatises [2nd-3rd century], Oxford: J. H. Parker, 1842, Apology, ch. XXI, p. 52 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:35-39; Ps. 44:22; John 16:2; 1 Cor. 15:30; 2 Cor. 4:11; more at Belief, Christ, God, Historical, Knowing God, Man, Worship)

Sunday, June 28, 2020
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is.
... Irenaeus (c.130-c.200), from Adversus Haereses, v. praef. (ad fin.), in The Early Christian Fathers, Henry Scowcroft Bettenson, London: Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 106 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 3:16; Isa. 7:14; John 1:14; Rom. 1:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 4:4-5; Heb. 4:15; more at Christ, Incarnation, Jesus, Love)

Monday, June 29, 2020
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles

It is a serious thought that the disobedience of the men he had set free from blindness and leprosy should be able to hamper him in his work for his father. But his best friends, his lovers did the same. That he should be crucified was a horror to them; they would have made him a king, and ruined his father’s work. He preferred the cruelty of his enemies to the kindness of his friends. The former with evil intent wrought his father’s will; the latter with good intent would have frustrated it.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Displeasure of Jesus”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 190 (see the book; see also Mark 8:31-33; Matt. 9:27-31; 16:21-23; Mark 1:40-45; John 18:36; more at Crucifixion, Disobedience, Evil, Father, Friend, Frustration, Goodness, King)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

If a man fights his way through his doubts to the conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, he has attained to a certainty that the man who unthinkingly accepts things can never reach.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 2, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, p. 322 (see the book; see also Mark 16:9-13; Matt. 8:23-26; 11:2-3; 28:17; Mark 9:22-24; John 20:24-29; more at Certainty, Christ, Conviction, Doubt, Fight)


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