Gleanings from the Daily Office – Worldly and Not By Design

GLEANINGS (from the Daily Office) – Worldly and Not By Design – Year One, Proper 20, Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8, Matthew 5:38-48

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world.”

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Thank God Paul did not urge the church to withdraw from sinners. If he had certainly I would have been beyond the reach of redemption. There would be no room for the unwashed among the clean.

Paul goes on to say, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders?” But all too often we have become the judge of those on the outside. Because we believe we were raised in Christian America we are floored when the secular culture shrugs off what we deem a moral life. And we pound are fists. Or whine.

Why should we be surprised? Unbridled, that is released from any gratitude and obedience for having been redeemed, I would be inclined to live a life totally about me. It would be all about amassing toys and enjoying pleasure. Why wouldn’t I? There was no hope for me save for those willing to come alongside the defiled. Without help I could not see the shallowness of the life I was living.

This does not mean, however, there is no place judgment. Indeed, among the redeemed it is to be expected. Paul continues, “Drive out the wicked person from among you.” We are not busybodies like Gladys Kravitz concerned with what our (worldly) neighbors are doing unless, of course, they call themselves followers of Jesus. Then their business is mine and, unfortunately, mine is theirs. And if I am bold enough to call myself a follower I owe those I call my brothers and sisters a sustained effort at a life ordered by obedience to the Kingdom forgoing the unfettered freedom offered by the world.

The once established church in America is struggling with what it means to stand alone without the endorsement of the prevailing culture. But it must find a way and without abandoning the world for which Christ died or the holiness with which he lived.

–Frodo: “I wish none of this had happened.” Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”–

Categories Latest News, Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on September 23, 2015

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