Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Phillips: this temporary world

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
    Feast of John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, & his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
    Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
    —Matthew 24:1-2 (NIV)
    A vast amount of Christian thought and action is spent upon the improvement and development of man in this temporary set-up... But if we swing too far [in that direction] we find ourselves party to a point of view which only tolerates Christianity because of its social implications; because it tends to stabilize the home, to improve health and living conditions, or to reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency. Before we know where we are we have lost the authentic, other-worldly note; we find ourselves regarding death, like any pagan, as an utter disaster; and, like any disillusioned humanist, becoming bitterly disappointed that men do not always “love the highest when they see it.” The emphasis, you see, even among Christians has shifted to this world.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 68 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, maintain our focus on You.
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