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    "The Kingdom of Heaven", said the Lord Christ, "is among you." But what, precisely, is the Kingdom of Heaven? You cannot point to existing specimens, saying, "Lo, here!" or "Lo, there!" You can only experience it. But what is it like, so that when we experience it we may recognize it? Well, it is a change, like being born again and relearning everything from the start. It is secret, living power -- like yeast. It is something that grows, like seed. It is precious like buried treasure, like a rich pearl, and you have to pay for it. It is a sharp cleavage through the rich jumble of things which life presents: like fish and rubbish in a draw-net, like wheat and tares; like wisdom and folly; and it carries with it a kind of menacing finality; it is new, yet in a sense it was always there -- like turning out a cupboard and finding there your own childhood as well as your present self; it makes demands, it is like an invitation to a royal banquet -- gratifying, but not to be disregarded, and you have to live up to it; where it is equal, it seems unjust; where it is just it is clearly not equal -- as with the single pound, the diverse talents, the labourers in the vineyard, you have what you bargained for; it knows no compromise between an uncalculating mercy and a terrible justice -- like the unmerciful servant, you get what you give; it is helpless in your hands like the King's Son, but if you slay it, it will judge you; it was from the foundations of the world; it is to come; it is here and now; it is within you. It is recorded that the multitudes sometimes failed to understand.

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Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642 Slowly, all through the universe, that temple of God is being read more

Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642 Slowly, all through the universe, that temple of God is being built. Wherever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire of God's likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. When, in your hard fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible temptation, you catch the purpose of your being and give yourself to God, and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life -- a living stone -- is taken up and set into that growing wall. Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways, there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. Oh, if the stone can only have some vision of the temple of which it is to be a part forever, what patience must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.

by Phillips Brooks Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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The mark of modern unbelieving man as a whole is that he has felt astonishingly much at home in his read more

The mark of modern unbelieving man as a whole is that he has felt astonishingly much at home in his earthly surroundings. He has taken a cheerful view of the prospects of the race and of the future of human history, staying his soul upon the promise of further "evolution" of the human individual, the continuous upward progress of civilization, or perhaps the confident expectation of a completely revolutionized order of society -- a communist Utopia beyond the class struggle or something else of that same general kind. Where such hopes remain unchastened by the cold touch of reality, there is little prospect of the Christian Gospel recommending itself to men's minds, and any wordy defense of it is likely to be quite useless.

by John Baillie 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 Continuing a read more

Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167 Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689 Continuing a short series on Romans 8: Romans 8:14,16. Ephesians 1:13,14. The Witnessing and Sealing Spirit Why should the children of a king Go mourning all their days? Great Comforter, descend and bring Some tokens of thy grace. Dost though not dwell in all thy saints, And seal the heirs of heaven? When wilt thou banish my complaints, And shew my sins forgiven? Assure my conscience of her part In the Redeemer's blood; And bear thy witness with my heart, That I am born of God. Thou are the earnest of his love, The pledge of joys to come; And thy soft wings, celestial Dove, Will safe convey me home.

by Isaac Watts Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 Not only the young Christian but also the adult Christian will complain read more

Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945 Not only the young Christian but also the adult Christian will complain that the Scripture reading is often too long for him, and that much therein he does not understand. To this it must be said that, for the mature Christian, every Scripture reading will be "too long", even the shortest one, [for] the Scripture is a whole, and every word, every sentence, possesses such multiple relationships with the whole that it is impossible always to keep the whole in view when listening to details. It becomes apparent, therefore, that the whole of Scripture, and hence every passage in it as well, far surpasses our understanding. It is good for us to be daily reminded of this fact.

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Ascension A comprehended god is no god.

Ascension A comprehended god is no god.

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Form-criticism... has made an end of the false notion, which for a long time dominated critical scholarship, that it was read more

Form-criticism... has made an end of the false notion, which for a long time dominated critical scholarship, that it was possible throughout the gospels to distill from them a "Life of Jesus" that would be free from dogmatic presuppositions and not affected by any "retouching" derived from the faith of the Church. In fact, however, faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen did not first appear at some later stage in the tradition, but was the foundation of the tradition, the very soil out of which it grew; and it is in light of that faith alone that the tradition can be understood. This faith in Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Exalted One, explains both the things which the primitive tradition makes known to us, with its manifest concern for the factual truth of the tradition about Jesus, and at the same time the peculiar liberty which the evangelists take in making alterations in the record in points of detail. In relating the acts and words of Jesus, they do not refer back to any sort of "archives" possessed by the community... Jesus Christ is not for them a figure of past history whose proper place is in a library.

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The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

by Pablo Casals Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326 If we with earnest effort could succeed To make our life one long, read more

Feast of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326 If we with earnest effort could succeed To make our life one long, connected prayer, As lives of some, perhaps, have been and are; If, never leaving Thee, we have no need Our wandering spirits back again to lead Into Thy presence, but continued there Like angels standing on the highest stair Of the Sapphire Throne: this were to pray indeed!

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Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 The apostles were moved, not so much by an intellectual read more

Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 The apostles were moved, not so much by an intellectual apprehension, as by a spiritual illumination. They met men, and the need of those men whom they met cried aloud to them. Their own desire for the revelation of the glory of Jesus in the salvation of men went out towards those whom they met, and was immediately answered by the recognition of the need of those whom they met for Jesus Christ.

by Roland Allen Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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