C. Acts teaches us about the worldwide mission of … The problem of loving, however, may not lie so much in the people we are commanded to love, as it does in our understanding of what it means to love. And I pray that when people write our histories, they will say of us what has been said of those living in Tertullian’s second century era, “Behold, how they love one another.” May that be our deepest and most lasting legacy. The church I attended was a conservative Baptist church, and while the church preached about many things – no dancing, drinking, gambling, etc., we rarely heard of the radical love encountered in the teachings of Jesus. The teacher that day was the Rev. Is (God) calling us to work with penitence and without paternalism in a rundown inner city area or ghetto? “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Or to give ourselves in genuine friendship – not superficial but sacrificial – to someone hooked on drugs, and stand by him faithfully during the painful period of withdrawal? . Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. Aristides did write, âand they love one another,â about the early Christians. Jesus rises from the table, puts on the apron of a slave, gathers a basin of water, and then systematically begins washing the feet of his disciples. In this and many ways our ‘Christian’ land is polarized, and our religion doesn’t seem to be much help in moderating the discussions. . Love was the fire of the martyrs. Aristides was an early second-. Below is an excerpt from, The Apology of Aristides, as translated by D. M. Kay, taken from the Syriac version. Aristides wrote about how Christians conducted themselves, and how deeply they cared for others. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. Great love can be shown not by merely saying “I’ll pray for you” but by putting a hand on someone’s shoulder right then and there and lifting up the need in prayer. As we consider how these Christians loved one another, their example should make an impact on our hearts and lives today.Â. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. She is a California native and currently studies Philosophy and Religion at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Children of God Love One Another 1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. As you already know, I served in the parish for more than 35 years – 25 of them in neighboring Lebanon – before receiving this call, and I learned a long time ago that the Meriden Congregational United Church of Christ had a significant voice that was being heard in the Upper Valley, the New Hampshire Conference, and even the wider United Church of Christ – a voice of compassion, of voice at once deeply spiritual and rooted in the present reality, a voice urging justice and peace in our world. The first great North African theologian was Tertullian(ca. And if any righteous man among them passes from the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and they escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another near. Their piety is as much an inward reality as it is an outward act. Our nation still routinely engages in unjust wars to advance its economic and political interests, and – as my friend Richard Crocker notes – ‘Congress has never found a war it didn’t like’ and I would paraphrase him by noting that the church has never found a war it couldn’t support. The era of Civil Rights is past, it seems, and its accomplishments have been significant and profoundly important. Though I speak in this very different time, it is, I would observe, not really a better time. That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me (Jn. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” In so doing, Stott was drawing upon a very ancient understanding of what it means to be the church. Some years ago, a distinguished colleague of mine, well-schooled in the discipline of biblical studies and a skilled preacher of the Gospel, took a sabbatical in which he visited Mother Theresa’s home of the indigent in Calcutta, India. See how they love each other, indeed, but … How do we teach each child and each adult to love the people that are hard to love? Love One Another Tip #1. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-45 KJV).Â. Whether it was Stott’s economy of language, his careful analysis of scripture, or simply his eloquent British accent, I remember to this day certain things he said that day – even the title of his talk, “The Foot-Washing Lord and Savior.” My memory of his talk has been refreshed by my discovery of it on the web, and so it forms something of a foundation for my sermon today from John 13. For our elders, the church seemed to stand against the tides of peace and justice, while we wanted it to stand for the higher values embodied in our faith. When we realize the true character of some unsaved people, or the values they have, or the way they treat other people, why do we as Christians put up with them? Just as the second century author of the book of Revelation looked to the promises and hopes of earlier Jewish Apocalyptic writers to provide encouragement and hope for his/her readers, readers enmeshed in very difficult circumstances, so I look to the writings of first and second century followers of Christ to find meaning for the present and future of our church. And verily, they are those who found the truth when they went about and made search for it; and from what we considered, we learned that they alone come near to a knowledge of the truth. In the Book of Acts, Luke wrote aboutÂ the early first-century Church, âAnd all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 36 “Lord, where are You going?” Simon Peter asked. . Pray. Through a series of curious circumstances, we had gathered with some 13,000 other students in a large arena at the University of Illinois for Bible study. What would that look like? . for their sake the glorious things which are in the world flow forth to view. Let us pray. These Christians lived, what Jesus commanded, “Love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. He explains "they ask from Him petitions which are proper for Him to give and for them to receive: and thus they accomplish the course of their lives." In the New Testament, the world always refers to the love of Christians for one another. They do not worship idols (made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others; and of the food which is consecrated to idols they do not eat, for they are pure. Some churches have applied this command literally, establishing moments in the church year for ‘foot-washing services’, usually on Maundy Thursday. This letter was entitled, The Apology of Aristides, and delivered to Emperor Hadrian circa 124-133 AD. In Greek, Philadelphia is almost always used of the love among the children in a family. 1… Tag Archives: Aristides behold how they love one another âThe Growing Christian Lifeâ (I Peter 1:22 sermon) Posted on 2019/06/24 by Shawn Thomas. These Christiansâ love was so clearly demonstrated in actions, that the sincerity of their heart was undeniable. Love was the power of early Christian witness to the Resurrected Christ. Further, as outsiders considered the expressions of love shown by these Christians, they consequently had to consider the source of that loveâwho is Jesus Christ. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. The language and sentiments of so many American people were just too angry and intolerant for me. XV: But the Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations. P.O. John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. It is not like our physical strength, which is wasting away and perishing, rather it is constant, always pulsating with life, and … This letter was entitled. Just as Stott that day challenged his listeners to love sacrificially so I ask you to love sacrificially and humbly. Aristides was an early second-century Greek Christian and philosopher who presented a letter of defense to the reigning Caesar (Emperor), Hadrian. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. âAnd all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. From a world-view, these Christians mustâve been seemed âpeculiar.â Not in a negative sense, but in the genuineness and graciousness of their love. Stephen P. White. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. In the latter part of the second century, the Christian leader Tertullian wrote a defense of Christian practice called the Apologia. It was said of the early Christians, "Behold, how they love one another." See How They Love One Another Lesson Plans Teaching Goals 1. And verily, this is a new people, and there is something divine (lit: “a divine admixture”) in the midst of them.  “The Foot-Washing Lord and Savior” An Exposition of John 13 by the Rev. I can find no more profound wisdom, nor greater inspiration in all of sacred history than in the simple words of Jesus, recorded for us in John 13:34: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. We now stand in a very different place in our nation’s history, and I know that I speak to a very different congregation than John Stott spoke to in 1970. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. That type of love is so rarely seen, it would seem peculiar. They were joined to one another with holy love. Though we have our treasure-chest, it is not made up of purchase-money, as of a religion that has its price. Or are we meant to offer our lives in Christ’s service in a developing country abroad – as a doctor, nurse, teacher, agriculturalist or social worker – when it would be more lucrative and more respectable to pursue our profession at home?” Then Stott really pushed his audience, arguing that they needed to learn to love those whom most in America’s church scorned – the counter-culture, free-sex, drug-addicted, dropping-out-of-society ‘hippies.’. Set to a simple tune the words “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love; they will know that we are Christians by our love.” became a bright and shining light to our generation of young believers. (This song can also be found under an alternate title, We are One in the Spirit.) The love he gave to them was love modeled after that first seen in our ‘foot-washing Lord and Savior’. The early Christians' love for each other went far beyond pious sentimentality. Jesus said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." . In the early Church, the believersâ love for one another, and for others, was so authentic and so obvious that even those outside the Church took notice and were amazed by the loving-kindness of first and second-century Christians. In his talk that day, Stott said, “If the love in our hearts is Christ’s love, we shall not shrink from sacrificial service, from a service which is costly in energy, dignity, money or time. In John 13:35 we found our truth: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This truth soon appeared in song. Just as Stott that day challenged his listeners to love sacrificially so I ask you to love sacrificially and humbly. âBehold, how they love another!â The origin of this phrase is generally attributed to Aristides the Athenian (or maybe as a reaction to Aristidesâ description of Christians). How They Love One Another: Cardinal O'Malley Turns Against Cardinal Dolan Boston Cardinal Seán O'Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, denounced his confrere, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan before the Washington Nuncio for allegedly covering-up abuses (English letter below). See How They Love One Another. 2. We are not doing a very good job of teaching the importance of love. It is by such love . **The full text of The Apology of Aristides contains even more treasures. The civil rights movement and the war in Viet Nam had created enormous divisions within both church and society. Justin Martyr (ca. And I pray that when people write our histories, they will say of us what has been said of those living in Tertullianâs second century era, âBehold, how they love one another.â May that be our deepest and most lasting legacy. I Peter 4:7-11. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for His loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him. - posted by MaryJane, on: 2011/1/16 9:01 One of the most profound comments made regarding the early church came from the lips of a man named Aristides, sen t by the Emperor Hadrian to spy out those strange creatures known as "Christians." 160–220). Now turn with me in the New Testament to The Acts of the Apostles. And they strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great glory the promises made concerning them. Aristidesâ letter and its content apparently became well-known outside of the Emperorâs household and staff; as it is mentioned in historical writings by Eusebius of Caesarea, Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (aka. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”, In December 1970, I was a 23-year-old theology student living in Boston, who had just met a young college student from Toronto who would later become my wife. They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. Box 187, As an Open and Affirming congregation, we welcome people of all ages, races, lifestyles, and sexual orientation. G. 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