Being more . . .
Be more zealous than you are now. Learn to understand the times. Expect him to come who is above time, the timeless one, the invisible one who became visible for our sake, the untouched one, the one beyond suffering who came to suffer for us, who in every way endured for our sake.
Toil together, fight, run, suffer, rest, and rise up together as God’s stewards, companions of his table, and his servants! -- Ignatius, 120 A.D.
One of the early leaders of the church, named Ignatius, wrote those words. He wrote them in the year 120. That’s nearly 2000 years ago. They’re still read today, put into collections of early words, and pondered. They could be written to people of faith today, don’t you think?
Get just a bit more serious about your faith.
Lean a little more about the times we’re living in, so you won’t be deceived.
Have confidence in the One who is above the times, even expect that One to teach you.
That One turns things upside down (or right side up!) in ways no pundit or worldview will every quite understand:
God with us (not far away),
God who we can experience (not aloof),
a creating God who mysteriously experiences what it’s like to be created (even suffering),
a God above time who doesn’t abandon time to us, but weaves into time.
Nice story. But is it real? Ignatius thought so, so much so that in his own time of tremendous cultural and political conflict he urged his fellow believers to take their cues not from the arguments and contests around them but from this One above it all.
But how? For we live in a real world full of deadlines and demands and duties and dependencies and dreams that we have to negotiate every day. We have our worries and we have our weaknesses. We also have our strengths, our hopes and our skills.
Maybe the clue is in that idea of weaving—to weave into our daily outlook a little more trust in God, and a little more expectation that God show up (and is already here), and a little more effort to “understand the times” and so make clearheaded, even courageous, decisions when we can. To be just a bit more zealous—not for power, but for truth, and for faith.
Ignatius quote from, The Early Christians: In Their Own Words. Eberhard Arnold, ed. (Plough Publishing). https://www.plough.com/en/topics/faith/early-christians/early-christians