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Friday, 17 September 2010

words that stir

During my recent research of early Christian writings, I was looking at those of Hippolytus (of Rome), with whom I was not very familiar.   (I used the Christian Classics Ethereal Library - a useful resource.) Those who were writing obviously had their own styles, and some felt heavier and harder to read than others.  But I found Hippolytus engaging.  This paragraph, part of his 'Against the Heresy of One Noetus' I find quite spine tingling; I actually murmured it aloud to get a sense of the rhythm and passion of the words.

"This is Jesus of Nazareth, who was invited to the marriage-feast in Cana, and turned the water into wine, and rebuked the sea when agitated by the violence of the winds, and walked on the deep as on dry land, and caused the blind man from birth to see, and raised Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days, and did many mighty works, and forgave sins, and conferred power on the disciples, and had blood and water flowing from His sacred side when pierced with the spear.

For His sake the sun is darkened, the day has no light, the rocks are shattered, the veil is rent, the foundations of the earth are shaken, the graves are opened, and the dead are raised, and the rulers are ashamed when they see the Director of the universe upon the cross closing His eye and giving up the ghost. Creation saw, and was troubled; and, unable to bear the sight of His exceeding glory, shrouded itself in darkness.

This (is He who) breathes upon the disciples, and gives them the Spirit, and comes in among them when the doors are shut, and is taken up by a cloud into the heavens while the disciples gaze at Him, and is set down on the right hand of the Father, and comes again as the Judge of the living and the dead. This is the God who for our sakes became man, to whom also the Father hath put all things in subjection. To Him be the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church both now and ever, and even for evermore. Amen."
"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster