George’s Flaming Sword

12 11 2008

Hey guys,

 

So just another friendly reminder about our upcoming Sundesmos Winter Retreat.  Get your registrations in ASAP so we can know how many to plan for.  Please don’t let money be a reason for not coming.  If you feel that the registration fee is not manageable I’d encourage you to get a hold of your pastor and see if there’s someone in your local Meeting that could sponsor you.  Offer to come back to Meeting and give a report about the Retreat so people can feel like they’re involved.  Let me know if you really want to come but can’t afford it and we’ll make it happen, don’t let money be the reason you aren’t able to come to this great weekend.  We’ve got plans to go to a Pacers game, a Progressive Dinner evening, good worship time together, a service project, and I’m guessing there’ll be at least one game of sardines.  It’ll be a good time!

 

So I’ve been reading a new edition of a book that was written some time ago about the life and legacy of George Fox and I’ve been again reminded of how young the first Quakers were when they started sharing passionately about their life-changing experiences with Christ.  George himself was in his 20s and 30s when he began challenging the institutional rigid church.  He had such an unsettled nature about the spiritual food he was being fed and searched for something more.  He knew that his hunger was not being met and the Church, the Body of Christ, could be more.  Sound familiar?

 

The thing that spurred his passion on was the intimate knowledge that he received from being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.  He knew a new self, a self that was one with God…that was an ambassador of Him in a fallen world.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

2 Cor. 5:14-20

 

It’s this idea of reconciliation, of building relationship and dying to self in order to live with and for Christ, that gave Fox and the early Friends their message.  Because we’ve been “born again”, if you will, in Christ Jesus we are a new creation…we are clean, we are able to be in right relationship with God.  This then translates into every aspect of our life…the integrity of our business transactions, our view of the equality of mankind, the desire to bring about peace with each other…all the things that we as Quaker stands for are a direct result of this transformation into reconciliation with God through the death of His Son on the cross.  Fox writes in his Journal when he was about 24 yrs old about the experience of having his “self” cut down by the Holy Spirit, having felt that refining fire working in his soul to help him discern and cleanse himself from temptations in order to return to a state like that of Adam in relationship with God in the garden before he fell.

Now was I come up in Spirit, through the flaming sword, into the paradise of God.  All things were new; and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter.  I knew nothing but pureness, innocency, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I was come up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell…But I was immediately taken up in Spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam’s in innocency, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall.  The Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell.

(George Fox’s Journal, p.97)            

 

Do you have the ache for something better for the Church, the Body of Christ?  Do you long to be in right relationship with God and to have a community of believers who passionately strive to live out their lives as people transformed by the flaming sword of the Spirit bringing them in closer intimate relationships with God?  You are in good company.  That’s what Quakers are suppose to be!

 

Praying for you!

 

To the King!

Katy

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