Countering the World’s Darkness

Note to “followers”:  This may have gone out to you earlier last week as a DRAFT.  I’m re-posting it so that it will be part of the actual blog

Lfeariving as Apprentices in an amoral world that daily spawns pain, terror, hatred and mistrust is a difficult challenge to say the least.  However, that’s the world that Jesus lived in . . . and it’s the world we all will live in until we move into the eternal kingdom.  The following quotes remind us that joy, peace, power, courage, and action are the hallmarks of followers of Jesus.

♥  When people attempt to live a double life spiritually, that is, to appear pure on the outside but are not pure in the heart, they are anything but blessed. Their conflicting loyalties make them wretched, confused, tense. Having to keep their eyes on two masters at once makes them cross-eyed, and their vision is so blurred that neither image is clear. But the eyes of the inwardly and outwardly pure are single, that is, focused upon one object, and their sight is not impaired. That’s why Jesus said, “For they shall see God.” (By Clarence Jordan in Sermon on the Mount)

♥  When Jesus speaks about the world, he is very realistic. He speaks about wars and revolutions, earthquakes, plagues and famines, persecution and imprisonment, betrayal, hatred and assassinations. There is no suggestion at all that these signs of the world’s darkness will ever be absent. But still, God’s joy can be ours in the midst of it all. It is the joy of belonging to the household of God whose love is stronger than death and who empowers us to be in the world while already belonging to the kingdom of joy. (By Henri J. M. Nouwen in Return of the Prodigal Son.)

♥   Have we ever kept quiet, even though we wanted to defend ourselves when we had been unfairly treated? Have we ever forgiven someone even though we got no thanks? Have we ever been absolutely lonely? Have we ever tried to love God when we are no longer being borne on the crest of the wave of enthusiastic feeling? Let us search in our life. If we find such experiences, then we have experienced the Spirit…. Here is the experience of eternity. (By Karl Rahner)

♥   When you pray, move your feet.  (An African proverb quoted by John Lewis)

♥  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.  (Martin Luther King in Strength to Love)

♥  Tpower 2he gospel is not that there is still more to come in the future. It’s not about going to heaven when we die, or about being forgiven now and awaiting freedom later. It’s not about experiencing the sacred in the midst of the secular. Neither is it a new teaching or a new moral code. It is the promised ‘power of God for salvation’ (Romans 1:16)–a power that frees us from all that opposed God and God’s will and all that alienates us from ourselves and each other. This power frees us to live according to God’s original plan, where selfless sharing, justice, mutuality, respect, trust, forgiveness and joyful community become realized. (By Charles Moore in Why I Stopped Going to Church posted in the Daily Dig)

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