This Week's Mini Homily

I am the...Truth--Jesus

Jesus Himself is the Truth. Jesus is not a set of propositions. He did not say that he is the Truth as expressed in a set of doctrines, beliefs or creeds. No, it is the nature of God--his personality--that is the Truth. In analizing the nature of God expressed in the life of Jesus we may enter into that Life and abide in Him.

What does this mean?

To "abide in Christ" is to remain in relationship with the nature and personality of God. It involves a surrender to the ethos of His personality, His way of looking at things, His way of reacting to life's constantly unfolding drama. It involves becoming "faithful to the highest I know and remaining faithful to the duty that lies nearest.

To abide in Christ is to answer His call-- to come unto Him. Let him mold and shape the personality of God within you. Though the Truth of God as expressed in the personality of Jesus is something that can be stated explicitly, it is more an implicit thing. Am I letting the will of the Son of Man to rule my life? Am I daily putting on more and more of the personality of God? When people look at me and my life, are they experiencing a glimpse of the life and truth of God in me?

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Last Week's Mini Homily

Another Reason Why "Hell" (eternal torture) Is A Logical Impossibility

There is no satisfaction of revenge possible to the injured. The severest punishment that can be inflicted upon the wrong?doer is simply to let him know what he is; for his nature is of God, and the deepest in him is the divine. Neither can any other punishment than the sinner's being made to see the enormity of his injury, give satisfaction to the injured. While the wrongdoer will admit no wrong, while he mocks at the idea of amends, or while, admitting the wrong, he rejoices in having done it, no suffering could satisfy revenge, far less justice. Both would continually know themselves foiled. Therefore, while a satisfied justice is an unavoidable eternal event, a satisfied revenge is an eternal impossibility. For the moment that the sole adequate punishment, a vision of himself, begins to take true effect upon the sinner, that moment the sinner has begun to grow a righteous man, and the brother human whom he has offended has no choice, has nothing left him but to take the offender to his bosom-the more tenderly that his brother is a repentant brother, that he was dead and is alive again, that he was lost and is found. Behold the meeting of the divine extremes ? the extreme of punishment, the embrace of heaven! They run together; 'the wheel is come full circle.'

(I particularly value the ideas in this last part. It is troubling to me to keep hearing on the news that the victims of a crime cannot "rest" or "find closure" unless they feel that the offender gets "justice" -- which means to them, that he or she suffers enough. It seems that justice is equated with revenge. Many theories about hell are part of this mind set -- God "gets even" -- forever and ever.)

"While a satisfied justice is an unavoidable eternal event, a satisfied revenge is an eternal impossibility"

"The Final Unmasking" George MacDonald

 

The Origins of the "Lord's Prayer"
(A prayer able to be prayed by people of every faith)

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy. After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works. When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you." All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no." Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late." More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office. One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands." The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one - no one - - ever makes it alone! ~Source Unknown~

View the essay, "The Lord's Prayer" at godquest/essays

 

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