Don’t Even Think of Saying You Sacrifice for Jesus.

Posted: April 17, 2009 in loving your neighbor
Tags: , , , ,

I came upon this quote recently. It was written by Dionysius the Bishop of Alexandria in 260AD. He wrote at the conclusion of a five year plague that at its height killed 5,000 people a day and by the end two out of every three inhabitants of the city.

“Most of our brother Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty,
never sparing themselves
and thinking only of one another.
Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need,
ministering to them in Christ,
and with them departed this life serenely happy;
for they were infected by others with the disease,
drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and accepting their pains.
Many, in nursing and curing others,
transferred their death to themselves
and died in their stead.
The best of the brothers lost their lives in this way”

My friends, that is how we change the world. That is how people are drawn into following Christ. It makes no human sense that people would want to give themselves to a religion that asks them to serve people they don’t even know, even to the point of death. And yet, that kind of service was a major reason why the Roman world was turned right side up. Our love of our neighbor, with that kind of devotion and sacrifice, is exactly what tells people that this whole thing of following Jesus must be right. There is no other explanation for an action that is so self-sacrificing. Jesus must really be who he claimed to be if his followers live with such a radical love for God and neighbor. There is substance to our words when our actions are so provocative. Oh that we would have that kind of faith again. Oh that I would have that kind of faith.

Comments
  1. Rob says:

    Hear! Hear!

  2. Rich says:

    Thank you for the reminder, Dan, of our Lord who touched the unclean. I forget that I already died (Gal 2:20) and that my life is to be one of service and sacrifice for others that glorifies our Lord.

    Greater love has no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.
    A new commandment I give to you: love one another as I have loved you. BY THIS all men will know you are MY disciples – if you love one another.

  3. Roger Butner says:

    Amen! Preach it brother!!!

  4. If we love another even our enemies, then people will know that we are God’s disciples.

  5. Everything about the Christian faith is extraordinary, counter-intuitive, from the original monotheism, to the cross, the ascention to our calling to serve, it’s all a stumbling block that’s just outrageous enough to believe and follow and turn the world upside down. It’s when Christianity is emptied of these strange ‘offensive’ things that it loses it’s power and is abandoned.

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