Hans urged me to read Friedrich Zundel's Pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt: An Account of His Life (2010).
I haven't been as stunned-to-savor-slowly-not-speed-read since diving into Georges Bernanos The Diary of a Country Priest (1934).
Anyone who can connect the affirmations/affections of Moltmann and Willimon not to mention Hans and especially not to mention me must be anointed.
Moretheless, I haven't read anything lately about anyone not to mention Someone that has riveted my attention/aspirations as has Zundel's bio of Blumhardt who said/did what I've never been able to articulate/incarnate as/sooooooo clearly, concisely, compellingly, conclusively, and, most importantly, Christocentrically.
Most books even the book are these days.
But so is lunch at Applebee's.
Buuuuuuut what is digested from Blumhardt lasts...forever.
Raised/reared in the theological ghetto of Germany's finest academic institutions, Blumhardt never lost focus for life and ministry: "To be cheerful in the Lord is something precious. I am always pleased to read in Paul's letters about the joy he wishes the faithful."
Blumhardt resisted temptations to discipleship detoured by books about the book more than the book itself: "He took the Biblical view of things for granted; any other way of thinking seemed alien...He found it painful, strange, and saddening that not only he, but also the venerable, devout men around him, seemed to lack the nearness to God that he saw in the Bible...It puzzled him that the gifts of grace...had so receded into the background...Holy Scripture and the revelation set forth in it occupied a higher place for him than it did for others."
He knew more than most and me about loving Jesus by loving like Jesus: "He...reveals Himself as the Father of all His creatures. He wants to show Fatherly love to all...No one is excluded...Such is the love of God...Should we then go and discriminate between people?...Whoever wants to live like a Christian must not take the best for himself, but leave it for others."
He began a sermon on 7/24/1831 in Basel, Switzerland with this prayer:
Father of love, break down the barriers that still separate
our hearts! By nature we are unable to love. We feel more
urged to hate and hurt one another than to meet each other
with peaceful and well-meaning love; we would rather pay
somebody back than forgive him; we incline more to anger
than to patience and forbearance. That is not Your way,
Heavenly Father. How can we then be called Your children?
Therefore, kindle among us the spirit of love; make us
mindful of how much You have loved us poor, lost sinners,
so that we may learn from You the love that shows we are
Your children. Amen.
A punchline in that sermon: "The Lord's gaze...penetrates into the hidden places; He, who loves all His children, sees also those who do not love them."
Blumhardt understood the authentic Church as having "an ultimate goal...readiness for God's Kingdom...Awareness that the Lord will come has made people gird their loins and have their lamps burning."
While I don't pretend to understand all of what that/he means, I kinda get it/Him that He is coming back for His own and His own have a priority to live and minister in cognizance of eternity with Him prefaced by existential loyalty to Him.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I thought about that juxtaposed to whatever has been rekindling in me since my kairos moment(s) with a few brothers and Eugene in October 2011.
I really don't know what happened and keeps happening since...
It wasn't what he said; though His presence through his anointing was overwhelming.
Well, I guess I kinda know what happened.
He happened; and He's still happening in a slow, steady, solid, evolving, and transforming way.
A big part of that has been to confess my sins against others, repent as conscious, and seek reconciliation with others as with Him in a Matthew 25 kinda way guided by Matthew 18:15-20.
I have been, surprisingly and differently as in never before inclined, eager/instigating/receptive to restoring all of the broken relationships in my life and ministry.
I've praised the Lord for the relationships that have been restored.
I've lamented relationships that remain broken; even while remaining eager/instigating/receptive to...
And I've praised the Lord for the revelation to know all relationships will be restored in heaven; for heaven has no room for perpetuating broken relationships.
I believe that hope as ultimate reality - eternal reconciliation with the whole family of faith as reconciled with Him through Jesus as Mediator - with every fiber of my heart as the totality of feelings, facts, and faith.
Tozer has helped me to understand the sad reality of existentially broken relationships: "We dwell in a world halfway between heaven and hell. In hell there is only evil; in heaven there is only good; on earth the tares and wheat grow together, with the tares vastly outnumbering the wheat."
Tozer has helped me to understand the glorious reality of eternal reconciliation through Him with His: "We must face today as children of tomorrow. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come."
In other words, "He will wipe away every tear from..."
I've messed up so many relationships in time.
Perhaps you can relate to me.
Perhaps you are related to me.
That's the bad news.
The good news is He fixes/cleans up messes...forever.
That's His promise for anyone/everyone related to Him.
Blessings and Love!
Amen! And amen!
Sounds like I need to add another book to my reading list. (by the way thank you for the Book you gave me the other day. I'd thought you'd like to know I am continuing to turn it into a red letter Book.) Thanks Bro'
Praise the Lord!!!
Yeah! Into a broken world, full of, well, full of brokenness, the Father sent the Son full of, if you'll permit, fixedness, to make the broken whole/holy. The problem with the world/church/us, is that we ignore the One full of fixedness and insist on applying our own tried and false (as opposed to tried and true) remedies that are simply brokennes masquerading as fixedness, assuming that by claiming to do so in His name we'll magically (as opposed to Spiritually) fix everything. The result? We just keep breaking things/others/ourselves and wonder why the world seems to be getting worse rather than better in spite of all our efforts.
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