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    Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304 That is where they meet, the Upper Room, scene of the Last Supper, scene of the Resurrection appearances when the doors were shut, scene now of their waiting for the Spirit. Whose is it? The clue lies in Acts 12, where St. Peter, strangely freed from Herod's prison, knows at whose house they will be gathered for prayer. He knocks, startles the gate-girl Rhoda. It was "the house of Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark" -- the young man who was to write the earliest of the gospels. The first meeting place of any Christian congregation was the home of a woman in Jerusalem. Something of the sort happens everywhere. The church in Caesarea centres upon Philip the Evangelist. "Now this man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." ... Joppa church depends on Tabitha, "a woman full of good works and almsdeeds which she did". Follow St. Paul about the Mediterranean. He crosses to Europe because he dreams of a man from Macedonia who cries, "Come over and help us". But when he lands at Philippi it is not a man, but a woman. "Lydia was baptized and her household" -- his first convert in Europe, a woman. Everywhere women are the most notable of the converts, often the only ones who believe. In Thessalonica there are "of the chief women not a few"; Beroea, "Greek women of honourable estate"; Athens, only two names, one of them, Damaris, a woman. At Corinth Priscilla and Aquila come into the story, the pair always mentioned together, and four times out of the six with the wife's name first, a thing undreamed of in the first century. Why? Because she counted for more in church affairs -- hostess of the church in her houses in Corinth, Ephesus and Rome, chief instructress of Apollos the missionary, intimate of the greatest missionary of all, St. Paul. Six times in the Epistles greetings are sent to a house-church, and in five cases the church is linked with a woman's name.

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Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709 Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 read more

Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709 Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 No nation, and few individuals, are really brought into [God's] camp by the historical study of the biography of Jesus, simply as biography. Indeed, materials for a full biography have been withheld from men. The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of win which they already had... The "Gospels" came later and were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made.

by C.s. Lewis Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916 No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies read more

Commemoration of Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, Servant of the Poor, 1916 No heart can conceive that treasury of mercies which lies in this one privilege, in having liberty and ability to approach unto God at all times, according to His mind and will.

by John Owen Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Just suppose members of our churches were voted on, like the members of certain civic clubs. Suppose three unexcused absences read more

Just suppose members of our churches were voted on, like the members of certain civic clubs. Suppose three unexcused absences required that the individual's name be automatically dropped from the roll, and he could be reinstated only by special vote of the body. Suppose absences from services had to be made up by attending services in some other place, or by carrying out some special project. Suppose church members had to be re-elected to membership each year, and that their attendance and participation in the program of activities determined how the vote went. Oh, well -- just suppose. ... from The Baptist Messenger September 16, 2002 Feast of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Martyr, 258 Commemoration of Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c. 430 Commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, tractarian, 1882 This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden, under the shadow of these vines. But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see--brigands on the high roads, pirates on the seas; in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; under all roofs misery and selfishness. It is really a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. 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 pleasures of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians -- and I am one of them.

by St. Cyprian Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a
Christian.

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a
Christian.

by Bible Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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If the Christian penitent dares to ask that his many departures from the Christian norm, his impatience, gloom, self-occupation, unloving read more

If the Christian penitent dares to ask that his many departures from the Christian norm, his impatience, gloom, self-occupation, unloving prejudices, reckless tongue, feverish desires, with all the damage they have caused to Christ's Body, be set aside, because -- because, in spite of all, he longs for God and Eternal Life: then he must set aside and forgive all that the impatience, selfishness, bitter and foolish speech, and sudden yieldings to base impulse by others have caused him to endure. Hardness is the one impossible thing. Harshness to others in those who ask and need the mercy of God sets up a conflict at the very heart of personality and shuts the door upon grace.

by Evelyn Underhill Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253 Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752 By giving read more

Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253 Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752 By giving humans freedom of will, the Creator has chosen to limit His own power. He risked the daring experiment of giving us the freedom to make good or bad decisions, to live decent or evil lives, because God does not want the forced obedience of slaves. Instead, He covets the voluntary love and obedience of sons who love Him for Himself.

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Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865 Is not the popular idea of read more

Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865 Is not the popular idea of Christianity simply this, that Jesus Christ was a great moral teacher and that, if only we took his advice, we might be able to establish a better social order and avoid another war? Now, mind you, that is quite true; but it tells you much less than the whole truth about Christianity, and it has no practical importance at all. It is quite true that, if we took Christ's advice, we should soon be living in a happier world. You need not even go as far as Christ. If we did all that... Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do. And so what?... If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference.

by C.s. Lewis Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167 Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689 "The read more

Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167 Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689 "The clergy," says Canon Rhymes, "are called to give to the laity the benefit of their theological understanding and so help them to account for and understand the faith which is in them." But surely there is no point in trying to account for faith: the moment it is accounted for rationally, it is no longer faith. Those whose hearts are filled with the Christian spirit... are best left to proclaim the Gospel in their own words and, above all, through the example of their own lives.

by John Grigg Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Beginning a series on the person of Jesus: I read the words and ponder them, but most of all read more

Beginning a series on the person of Jesus: I read the words and ponder them, but most of all I look at Jesus and try to understand His life, when I want to know the fullest truth regarding God. And when thus I look at Him, what do I learn? First of all, the true divinity of Christ Himself. I cannot doubt what is His own conception of His own personality. Through everything He does, through everything He says, there shines the quiet, intense radiance of conscious Godhead. Again, I say, it is not a word or two which He utters, though He does say things which make known His self-consciousness, but it is a certain sense of originalness, of being, as it were, behind the processes of things -- this is what has impressed mankind in Jesus, and been the real power of their often puzzled but never abandoned faith in His Divinity. He has appeared to men, in some way, as He appears to us today, to be not merely the channel but the fountain of Love and Wisdom and Power, of Pity and Inspiration and Hope: The wonderful thing about this sense of Divinity as it appears in Jesus is its naturalness, the absence of surprise or of any feeling of violence. (Continued tomorrow).

by Phillips Brooks Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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