Hunger is my native place in the land of the passions. Hunger for fellowship, hunger for righteousness–for a fellowship founded on righteousness, and a righteousness attained in fellowship.–Dag Hammarskjold, Markings
For those of us who feel called to a way of life that runs counter to the values and assumptions of the wider culture, it is especially important and especially difficult to balance the hunger for fellowship and the hunger for righteousness. Clearly we need both.
Without fellowship our righteousness can become self-righteous and barren. We need to reach out in compassion to our neighbors. We need to accept their help when we are weak. We need help in discerning the spirits, distinguishing our own wishes and preconceptions from God’s guidance.
Without righteousness fellowship becomes empty. We can’t really help or love or know one another if we are hiding from the truth in order to maintain connections.
It can be very difficult to know who can help us to discern. If we listen only to people who agree with us, there is no check on our delusions. If we try to take the advice of all those who offer it, whether or not their goals are like our own, we end up harassed and confused.
I haven’t figured out any easy answers. Sometimes I try to find people who share my broad goals and hope that they can help me see whether my work is actually helping or undermining these goals. Sometimes I look for people whose lives demonstrate courage, clarity, balance, serenity, the qualities I hope to achieve–while remembering that no one possesses these qualities perfectly, except God.
I try, also, to remember that before God we all stand alone, no matter how well-connected we think we are, and that I cannot give over responsibility for my conscience to any other person or group; that, however lonely we may sometimes feel, in God we all are one.
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Today in Christian History
1820 – Birth of Elvina M. Hall, American Methodist poet who authored the hymn, ‘Jesus Paid It All’ (a.k.a. ‘I Hear the Savior Say’).
1873 – Birth of Charles F. Parham, American charismatic church pioneer. In 1898 he founded a Bible training school in Topeka, Kansas, where the modern Pentecostal movement began in 1901.
1878 – Birth of Frank N. Buchman, American exponent of the social gospel. He founded the First Century Christian Movement (1921), the Oxford Group (1929) and the Moral Re-Armament Movement (1938).
1900 – Birth of Nelson Glueck, American Jewish archaeologist. Director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem between 1932 and 1947, he explored and dated over 1,000 ancient sites in Palestine and the Near East.
1948 – In Manilla, the first missionary radio station built in the Philippines by the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) first went on the air.
Source for Today in Christian History: www.studylight.org