Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Let Christian faith and life overflow from the church into our city's streets

HENRY DRUMMOND'S INSIGHT. A few paragraphs from Henry Drummond's little book The City Without a Church inspire me this morning. Drummond (1851-1897) uses The Revelation of John to point out that heaven is envisioned as a city--a city without a church. It takes little sanctified imagination to say a hearty "yes!" to Drummond's insights:

REAL-LIFE RELIGION. "The heaven of Christianity is different than all other heavens, because the religion of Christianity is different than all other religions. Christianity is the religion of the city. It moves among real things. Its sphere is the street, the marketplace, the working life of the real world."

CARE OF THE CITIES. "When Christianity shall take upon itself in full responsibility the burden and care of cities--the Kingdom of God will openly come on earth. People do not dispute that religion is in the church. What is now wanted is to let them see it in the city."

A CITY ON A HILL. "One Christian city, one city in any part of the earth, whose citizens from the greatest to the humblest lived in the spirit of Christ, where religion had overflowed the churches and passed into the streets, inundating every house and workshop, and permeating the whole social and commercial life--one such Christian city would seal the redemption of the world."

WEEP FOR THE CITY. "How are you to begin? As Christ did. First he looked at the city; then he wept over it; then he died for it."

MAKE HEAVEN WHERE YOU ARE. "Where are you to begin? Begin where you are. Make that one corner, room, house, office, as like heaven as you can. Begin? Begin with the paper on the walls, make that beautiful; with the air, keep it fresh; with the very drains, make them sweet. Abolish whatsoever makes a lie--in conversation, in social intercourse, in correspondence, in domestic life."

HEAVEN IN YOUR HEART. "This done, you will have arranged a heaven, but you have not got it. Heaven lies within: in kindness, in humbleness, in faith, in love, in service. To get these in, get Christ in. Teach all in the house about Christ--what he did, and what he said, and how he lived. Teach it not as a doctrine, but as a discovery, as your own discovery. Live your own discovery."

PASS IT ON. "Then pass out into the city. Do all to it that you have done at home."

THE GREATEST THING. To read The City Without a Church online: click here. Henry Drummond, a Scottish speaker, author and teacher who was associated with Dwight L. Moody, is most known for The Greatest Thing in the World, a profound reflection on 1 Corinthians 13.

I welcome your comments and/or questions in the spirit of dialog. Share yours by clicking on "comments" just below. They're moderated only to reduce incivility. Shalom!

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