Tuesday, November 10, 2020

M. Barth: using Christ's name in vain

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
    Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
    But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    —Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)
    When no tensions are confronted and overcome, because insiders or outsiders of a certain class or group meet happily among themselves, then the one new thing, peace, and the one new man created by Christ, are missing; then no faith, no church, no Christ, is found or confessed. For if the attribute “Christian” can be given sense from Eph. 2, then it means reconciled and reconciling, triumphant over walls and removing the debris, showing solidarity with the “enemy” and promoting not one’s own peace of mind but “our peace.”
    When this peace is deprived of its social, national, or economic dimensions, when it is distorted or emasculated so much that only “peace of mind” enjoyed by saintly individuals is left—then Jesus Christ is being flatly denied. To propose, in the name of Christianity, neutrality or unconcern on questions of international, racial, or economic peac e—this amounts to using Christ’s name in vain.
    ... Markus Barth (1915-1994), The Broken Wall, Chicago: Judson Press, 1959, Regent College Publishing, 1959, p. 45 (see the book)
    See also Eph. 2:4-7,13-18; Mark 9:50; Rom. 12:18; 2 Cor. 13:11; Col. 1:19-20; 1 Thess. 5:13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I confess to lacking the mercy You desire of me. Show me how I am to serve and seek Your peace, rather than my own.
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