Sunday, July 26, 2015

Community of Life

This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed
—Luke 2:34b-35a
Who the ear made, can he hear not?
Who formed eyes, can he not see?
Who warns nations, will he strike not?
Who guides people, knows not he?
All of people's thoughts the Lord knows;
knows that but a breath are they.
Blest are they whom you reprove, Lord:
through your law you point the way.
—Psalm 94:11-12
Suggested tune (In Memoriam):
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.
—Zechariah 7:9-10
Brotherly love flowed from community of life in Christ. Hence Ignatius calls believers Christ-bearers and God-bearers. The article of the Apostles’ Creed, I believe in the communion of saints; the current appellation of brother and sister; and the fraternal kiss usual on admission into the church, and at the Lord’s Supper, were not empty forms, nor even a sickly sentimentalism, but the expression of true feeling and experience, only strengthened by the common danger and persecution. A travelling Christian, of whatever language or country, with a letter of recommendation from his bishop, was everywhere hospitably received as a long known friend. Brotherly love expressed itself, above all, in the most self-sacrificing beneficence to the poor and sick, to widows and orphans, to strangers and prisoners, particularly to confessors in bonds. 
—Philip Schaff
Give me insight, Lord, into practices and customs which oppress the least among us. Forgive me when I judge outward appearances, without looking to the soul within. You came not to save the respectable, but to place the last first and the first last. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment