Colony of Heaven
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
CLS is pleased to continue to offer thoughtful and engaging devotionals in 2016. On the eve of a three-day weekend, celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr., let’s appreciate his challenge to the church over 50 years ago. Although his struggle was for justice – his questions and observations of the church sound all too familiar today.
” . . . I have looked at . . . beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: ‘What kind of people worship here? Who is their God?’…
There was a time when the church was very powerful–in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.”‘ But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.” – Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Do we as lawyers and law students, as we challenge and pray for each other, act as a presence that is both challenging and inviting with the grace of God to all those around us?
Do you see yourself as part of the “colony of heaven”?
Do you see CLS that way?
What difference does it make? And if not, what difference should it make?
Lord, Thank you for a new year. Remind me daily that I am your child, a citizen of your city, and am called here to share your Truth. Help me to spend enough time with you that I am God intoxicated in all walks of life. Amen.
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