Well friends, we are only on Day 3 and I am rushing around this morning trying to get ready and get this post up!
True to my nature, I managed to overbook my morning.
As I have been getting ready I was praying what word to share and I keep coming back to the introduction of 1 Thessalonians in the Max Lucado Inspirational Bible.
He uses one of my all-time favorite quotes.
It comes from a letter written by St. Cyprian to a friend named Donatus.
His words are beautiful as he describes his view from the window of his residence. He sees from a bird’s eye view what appears to be a “cheerful world” and yet he acknowledges what both he and Donatus know to be true.
From different vantage points, he would see the truth of corruption, violence, extortion, lust and greed that characterize so much of human existence outside of our own little bubbles.
And then he adds this:
“Yet, in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people. They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians….and I am one of them.”Gordon MacDonald, Forging a Realworld Faith
I can’t help but think that this is what Paul wanted for the Thessalonians and what God wants for us.
In the midst of a crazy pandemic and all the hateful things we have witnessed, can we be a ‘quiet and holy people’? Have we discovered a joy that characterizes us to the point that lets the world know we are overcomers?
I am hoping as we read through these passages I am praying we will let the words shape us into a holy and quiet people. Wow…how the world could use some of that, right?
Last thought: I cry every time I read that declaration from Cyprian.
I imagine him sitting and penning this letter to his friend, quietly and prayerfully thinking how to share his faith.
We live in an age where the Church has joined in with our culture at times to point out what is wrong with us. A common phrase I have heard and read from leaders includes a line about what we haven’t done well.
We are bruised and scared and how gently the words of this old saint fall on me today.
There is a people who have learned to rejoice in the midst of suffering, to hope in the face of despair, to show compassion when slighted and overlooked…they are Christians, and I…my friend…am one of them <3