Saturday, March 13, 2010

the more things change . . .

the more things stay the same. I came across this in a sermon I'm reading. How timely does this sound to you?
For the Lord says, "Through it all, my name is reviled among the nations," and somewhere else, "Woe to the one through whom my name comes into revulsion. And how does it come into revulsion? Whenever you neglect the things I want you to do." For the nations, when they hear from our mouth the words of God, they are impressed by their beauty and value. But then they learn of our actions—that they do not measure up to the words we speak—then they turn to reviling, saying that our words are myth and deception. For whenever they hear from us that God says, "What good is it for you if you love those who love you? Instead, it benefits you if you love your enemies and those who hate you"—when they hear this, they are amazed by the all-surpassing goodness of God's word. But when they see that not only do we not love those who hate us, but we also don't love those who love us, they laugh at us and revile his name. (2 Clem. 13.2–4; my translation of Michael Holmes's Greek text)

2 Clement is, in a lot of likelihood if not in all likelihood, a second-century sermon read among the churches in Corinth (though not necessarily by the same author as 1 Clement). The problems of early second-century Corinth seem remarkably similar to the problems of early twenty-first-century America (and likely all times and places in between). Would that we (qere I) take the Sermon on the Mount just a bit more seriously.

1 comment:

betsy said...

this verse bites me in the rear on a regular basis.

glad you liked the bookshelves!

My Visual Bookshelf