Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Christian Heritage - June 16 - Whole Nations Seized Upon the Apostles' Teaching

Supposing two men come to a city without food, money, or a change of clothes. Who do you think would welcome them, where would they find an open door? Who would want to know them? What sort of lodging would they find and where would they start to look for it? One must surely marvel at the power of one who could send his disciples out in such a way, and at the faith of those whom he sent.

Why be so amazed that the apostles were believed, or that they themselves could believe, and that they returned home safely after being welcomed everywhere? But these are truly great marvels and we should not fail to realize this. Unknown strangers, poorly dressed and without contacts, traveled all over the world proclaiming someone who had been crucified, and offering a life of fasting in place of drunkenness, and irksome self-restraint in place of sensuality. It can hardly have been easy for those addicted to such vices to receive these exhortations to renounce them and live upright lives. And yet whole peoples seized upon this teaching, whole nations embraced it.

Eusebius of Emesa (AD 263-240), Oratio 14, 7-8

I remember how Matt P longed to can it all and just start hiking the world over, catching hosptitality where and when he could, meeting new people all the time, being stretched every day, and having nothing of "value" to boast of - all for the sake of proclaiming the Gospel. Well, Matt, here it is: you're in good company.

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