Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Blessings - A letter from AD 100

I want to share an ancient letter from my friend Sherri 's blog. It was quoted by Pastor Minor who answers questions bloggers send him.His answers are very insightful and I learn a lot from him. Sherri 's posts are full of wit and wisdom from everyday life and interactive too.She has a great sense of humour.

Below is an amazing letter from antiquity… a letter written to one Diognetus, around 100 AD. The author of the letter is unknown… although he does not seem to be a Christian. In this letter, the author describes the citizenship and behaviors of the early Christians. I find this description incredibly refreshing, since I believe it ought also to describe the Christians of 2009 AD. The letter is a little long, but worth the read, I think:

A Letter to Diognetus
For Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, language or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange foreign dialect, or have some peculiar lifestyle.This teaching of theirs has not been contrived by the invention and speculation of inquisitive men; nor are they propagating mere human teaching as some people do. They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food and the other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the wonderful and certainly unusual form of their own citizenship.They live in their own native lands, but as aliens; as citizens, they share all things with others, but like aliens, suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native country as a foreign land.They marry and have children just like every one else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present in the flesh” but they do not live “according to the flesh”. They are passing their days on earth but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives.They love every one, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short of everything yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory thorough dishonor.Their names are blacked and yet they are cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. Whey they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as aliens, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility.To put is simply— they soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts and Christians through all the cities of the world. The soul is in the body but is not of the body; Christians are in the world but no of the world.

I want to fit this dscription.
Mother and I are watching Sister Act on Star Movies . My sisters and I studied in a convent school till Grade 12 and have such pleasant memories of our school days. I want to post this video from that movie.

8 Fertilize my soul:

David C Brown said...

"for our commonwealth has its existence in [the] heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ [as] Saviour"

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
a great description about how one should live as a Christian, being salt and light of the earth.
I'm afraid I do not differ much from the non-Christian in my neighborhood.
I'm not proud about it, It's like it has more or less been watered out.

I remember when I was young there were greater differences and greater costs.
"Go outside the camp, carrying the dishonor of Christ."

I wonder about the picture heading this post. Is it a William Morris painting/pattern?
If not he must have been very oriental inspired!
Have a peaceful Sunday.
From felisol

Rebecca said...

Well.....all that being said....I shall comment on the movie....what a lot of fun and full of laughs that show was/is!!!

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Well that is an interesting letter! The early Christians were very brave.

Crown of Beauty said...

I loved the letter, and the passion with which it was written.

It should still characterize us who call ourselves Christians today.

I also enjoyed the movie Sister Act. Reminds me of my childhood and teenage years. I, too went to a Catholic convent school for twelve years here in Manila, starting from when I was 6 years old up to 18!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Yes, the description of Christians in this letter is very accurate. Yes, we all strive to match the description of Christians in this letter. Thanks for the very inspiring post. God bless you always.

Amrita said...

Thank you dear friends for you comments.

The life we have in Christ is marked by our works not just words.

In India ( and I suppose all over the world) a very high standard is expected from Christians. People like to education and treatment at Christian schools and hospitals becasue things work much better there.
They expect charity and kindness treament from us.But sadly many times we are taken advandage of too. But Christ said "Do good to those who use you".
I fall short so many times.

Dear Felisol, I don 't know the origin of that painting. I got it from the www

eha said...

Thank you for posting the letter. So many christians need to read that letter, including me. Nice to be here again.