Monday, August 24, 2020

Booth: save the body for the soul

Monday, August 24, 2020
    Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
    [Jesus:] “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
    —John 3:6-7 (NIV)
    [Continued from yesterday] Insoluble [the problem] is, I am absolutely convinced, unless it is possible to bring new moral life into the soul of these people. This should be the first object of every social reformer, whose work will only last if it is built on the solid foundation of a new birth, to cry, “You must be born again!”
    At the risk of being misunderstood and misrepresented, I must assert in the most unqualified way that it is primarily and mainly for the sake of saving the soul that I seek the salvation of the body.
    But what is the use of preaching the Gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive? You might as well give a tract to a shipwrecked sailor who is battling with the surf which has drowned his comrades and threatens to drown him. He will not listen to you. Nay, he cannot hear you. The first thing to do is to get him at least a footing on firm ground, and to give him room to live. Then you may have a chance. At present you have none.
    ... William Booth (1829-1912), In Darkest England, London: Funk & Wagnalls, 1890, p. 44-45 (see the book)
    See also John 3:6-7; Amos 5:15; Matt. 8:24-27
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, use my hands to hold out the Gospel to Your people.
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