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Meditation: Worshipping With Zombies

C.S. Lewis: A Dead GuyTradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” ~ Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006)

Who knew we could find living faith among the dead? You might as well have told me to go to a church filled with zombies.

When I became born again in 1970, at the age of 14, It never occurred to me I was born into a family nearly two thousand years old. I figured it started with me. I was soon introduced to the works of C.S. Lewis--a dead guy! Lewis died in 1963, so at least we were briefly alive at the same time. This made him acceptably “modern.” Years later I discovered Lewis took most of his ideas from St. Augustine--who was even more dead.

I suspect many followers of Jesus, if they read at all, limit their exposure to names like Max Lucado, Francis Chan, or Beth Moore. Christian publishers understand that “new” sells, while “old” is simply, well, old.

I sing in praise of our grandparents. They have left us a legacy that rests among the weeds, awaiting rediscovery. They are not worthy because they are old, they are worthy because their instruction and encouragement is timeless. Nor were they born as saints: Augustine was a young man consumed with pride and lust; Assisi was a hipster in his day, in danger of wasting his life on passing fancies. They, and a cloud of witnesses more, have so much to say to us. Try the sampler platter:

St. Augustine: Even More dead"Educated Christians like myself expect God's grace to prefer people of greater natural ability, higher standards of behaviour, and superior education in the liberal arts. In fact God mocks my expectations." ~ Augustine of Hippo, born 354.

A beautiful woman looking at her image in the mirror may very well believe the image is herself. An ugly woman knows it is not.” ~ Simone Weil, Born 1909

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” ~ C.S. Lewis, born 1898

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming ourselves.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi, born 1182.

In my opinion, Students of Jesus should join in worship along with the glorious dead.

Reader Comments (2)

In my opinion "students of Jesus Christ" should be students of Jesus. There is none of us enrolled disciples of Jesus who are barred from His direction directly from Him. There are more sources and examples He has to choose from than any one of us has time to utilize. Without the Guide constantly in my life I miss sources of learning to be as our Father desires because I am left to my limited perspective. If I only am led by my fellow students it is difficult to discern which of them are bullies out for their own earthly gratification. I cannot get it out of my head and heart how many chose the authority of the teachers of law over that of the Messiah because He refuted their doctrine, traditions and rituals. Oh, how many times have I without recognition been trained one day for first responding and provided the exact first aid the next day to someone in need physically and/or spiritually. I have not been graced as His hands on representative because I have faith that He exists for I already know and love Him. I have been graced because I have faith in His teaching and where He is leading as the Way. All people who come from all religions and cultures of birth are welcome to enroll as His disciples.

Students of Jesus must be able to openly dialog with one another during and outside of class as did Peter, Paul and the many disciples of Jesus documented since He began to instruct as the Son of Man. Thank you for pointing out even more sources but I am wondering how we find time to study all that is available and still have time to live as He is teaching us to live?

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

You raise an excellent question, Herm. The true teacher is still Jesus, through his Holy Spirit. Nor should life be all study and no application. The problem with any blog post is the impossibility to explore everything in one post. Today I merely meant to point us beyond what G.K. Chesterton called "the tyranny of the living." Peace to you.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

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