Wednesday, 31 May 2006

From Two Giants: Nouwen and Lewis

This is today's meditation from Henri Nouwen:
Jesus Is Persecuted

Jesus, the favorite Child of God, is persecuted. He who is poor, gentle, mourning; he who hungers and thirsts for uprightness; is merciful, pure of heart and a peacemaker is not welcome in this world. The Blessed One of God is a threat to the established order and a source of constant irritation to those who consider themselves the rulers of this world. Without his accusing anyone he is considered an accuser, without his condemning anyone he makes people feel guilty and ashamed, without his judging anyone those who see him feel judged. In their eyes, he cannot be tolerated and needs to be destroyed, because letting him be seems like a confession of guilt.

When we want to become like Jesus, we cannot expect always to be liked and admired. We have to be prepared to be rejected.
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And some vintage St Clive for today from The Business of Heaven: Daily Readings, (Fount, 1984), ed. Walter Hooper, quoting The Great Divorce, chapter 8:
Two Kinds of People in the End

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done', and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.
There is very definitely an edge to this Christianity business. There are choices to made moment by moment, there is mercy, there is judgement, there is Hell, there is Heaven and, above all, there is Jesus.