Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christ Now and Then

"I wanted life itself, the colour and fire and loveliness of life. And Christ now and then, like a loved poem I could read when I wanted to. I didn’t want us to be swallowed up in God. I wanted holidays from the school of Christ.”
~ Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy (page 136)

There are many other, arguably better, quotations from A Severe Mercy. However, this one reminds me that I, too, don't always desire Jesus as I ought. It is sobering. Do I want holidays from the school of Christ? Sometimes. O God, help me to want more and still more of You!

In light of this struggle, I found another well-loved quotation from A Severe Mercy apropos:
“The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them."
~ Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

On the days I would rather have a holiday from the school of Christ, I find that I am not exhibiting the first characteristics Vanauken says are indicative of Christians. But even when I want holidays from the Master's school, the truth of Christianity does not shift or change. I shift, I falter like a shadow, but He is the light that dispels even my darkest desires. Persons may [rightly] reproach Christians, but no slander sticks to the Truth of Christ.

~ Johanna

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