35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas. But the challenges of bringing authentic justice into being in our land are daunting. It’s said that Scholtes took inspiration for the chorus’ lyric in light of  John 13:34-35, and as he reflected over an expression that tradition holds was frequently used by those outside the Church body, in speaking about Christians of the early Church. He learned in those few moment, and in that day of carefully clipping the nails of the ill and dying, the meaning of humble service. And if any righteous man among them passes from the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and they escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another near. Justin Martyr (ca. Sometime in middle age he converted to Christianity and was ordained a presbyter (i.e., priest or elder) in Carthage. - (2) The demand which this glorification would make on the mutual fidelity and affection of the disciples. Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another… And he who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. XV: But the Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. 100–ca. [1] “The Foot-Washing Lord and Savior” An Exposition of John 13 by the Rev. See How They Love One Another. Still, as believers, we would be negligent to only read about the early Church and marvel at their love without also making a self-examination. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for His loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him. It ought to still be said of followers of Christ, “Behold, how they love one another! “For, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Purchase online – sites available in 5 countries, James Callen – Follower of Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, and award-winning Christian author, Love one another in Christ: Christian example from the early Church. Such, O King, is the commandment of the law of the Christians, and such is their manner of life. Just as Stott that day challenged his listeners to love sacrificially so I ask you to love sacrificially and humbly. Earlier in chapter 13 of John Jesus gives us his take on this command. XVI. Behold! For our elders, the church seemed to stand against the tides of peace and justice, while we wanted it to stand for the higher values embodied in our faith. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. John 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Tag Archives: Aristides behold how they love one another “The Growing Christian Life” (I Peter 1:22 sermon) Posted on 2019/06/24 by Shawn Thomas. Usually quoted as 'See how [these Christians] love one another.' Or are we meant to offer our lives in Christ’s service in a developing country abroad – as a doctor, nurse, teacher, agriculturalist or social worker – when it would be more lucrative and more respectable to pursue our profession at home?” Then Stott really pushed his audience, arguing that they needed to learn to love those whom most in America’s church scorned – the counter-culture, free-sex, drug-addicted, dropping-out-of-society ‘hippies.’. One recent evening I watch a televised moment in John McCain’s campaign for re-election to the U. S. Senate, in which a visibly angry white male shouted “shoot, bury, and shut up” about them. From a world-view, these Christians must’ve been seemed “peculiar.” Not in a negative sense, but in the genuineness and graciousness of their love. We are not doing a very good job of teaching the importance of love. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their own homes and rejoice over him as a … How they love one another." "Behold! Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. Jesus said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. One of the peculiar realities about the church is that it almost always supports the wars its nation wages, while scorning those who work for peace – and that was certainly true of my church during the 60’s and early 70’s. This was the blessed fruit of Christ’s dying precept to his disciples, to love one another, and his dying prayer for them, that they all may be one in Christ. In Aristides’ writings describing early second-century Christians, he gives firsthand observation and testimony about how Christians had continued to demonstrate great devotedness and selflessness towards others. How They Love One Another! Below is an excerpt from, The Apology of Aristides, as translated by D. M. Kay, taken from the Syriac version. Once we commit to follow the Lord, we also commit to love others. Set to a simple tune the words “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love; they will know that we are Christians by our love.” became a bright and shining light to our generation of young believers. In 1966, Peter Scholtes, published the hymn, They’ll know we are Christians by our Love. (This song can also be found under an alternate title, We are One in the Spirit.) And they strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great glory the promises made concerning them. As you already know, I served in the parish for more than 35 years – 25 of them in neighboring Lebanon – before receiving this call, and I learned a long time ago that the Meriden Congregational United Church of Christ had a significant voice that was being heard in the Upper Valley, the New Hampshire Conference, and even the wider United Church of Christ – a voice of compassion, of voice at once deeply spiritual and rooted in the present reality, a voice urging justice and peace in our world. And further if they see that any one of them dies in his ungodliness or in his sins, for him they grieve bitterly, and sorrow as for one who goes to meet his doom. Stephen P. White. “Perhaps no one has captured the exuberant spirit of simple caring and sharing better than the Christian philosopher Aristides, whose words (written in A.D. 125) are so moving that they are best quoted in full: When we realize the true character of some unsaved people, or the values they have, or the way they treat other people, why do we as Christians put up with them? What would that look like? In the early Church, the believers’ love for one another, and for others, was so authentic and so obvious that even those outside the Church took notice and were amazed by the loving-kindness of first and second-century Christians. For they know and trust in God, the Creator of heaven and of earth, in whom and from whom are all things, to whom there is no other god as companion, from whom they received commandments which they engraved upon their minds and observe in hope and expectation of the world which is to come. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:44-47). Love One Another John 13:34 A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. Love One Another … 34 A new commandment I give you: Love one another. **The full text of The Apology of Aristides contains even more treasures. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. Addressing the 13,000 evangelical and fundamentalist young people, he challenged his listeners to consider their calling to serve, asking, “Is (God) calling us to spend time with somebody who is lonely or emotionally unstable or mentally sick, when we would rather relax with our friends? Then, having washed their feet, Jesus says, “You call me Teacher and Lord — and you are right, for that is what I am. Falsehood is not found among them.” “They love one another in action, not just words.” Aristides noted that “they love one another; the widows’ needs are not ignored, and they rescue the orphan from the person who does him violence. The older I … It is lasting. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:13-15). These two things—bold witness and visible love—have been the hallmark of the church in every age of persecution and hostility. I wonder how many people look at us and say the same. Governor Pliny writes Emperor Trajan for advice in dealing with "The Christian Problem" (AD 112) In this and many ways our ‘Christian’ land is polarized, and our religion doesn’t seem to be much help in moderating the discussions. Their piety is as much an inward reality as it is an outward act. “Perhaps no one has captured the exuberant spirit of simple caring and sharing better than the Christian philosopher Aristides, whose words (written in A.D. 125) are so moving that they are best quoted in full: They walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them, and they love one another. In more liberal churches, where sermons were preached against the war and in support of civil rights, pastors often found themselves at odds with their deacons, and at times fired from their jobs. Tertullian contrasts holy Christian love of the brethren with the sexual depravities of Roman culture, and then he goes on to describe Christian love feasts. And verily, they are those who found the truth when they went about and made search for it; and from what we considered, we learned that they alone come near to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Stott that day challenged his listeners to love sacrificially so I ask you to love sacrificially and humbly. Through a series of curious circumstances, we had gathered with some 13,000 other students in a large arena at the University of Illinois for Bible study. The love he gave to them was love modeled after that first seen in our ‘foot-washing Lord and Savior’. As our sign says, “All Are Welcome.”, A spiritually progressive, open and affirming, congregation of the United Church of Christ, Updated UCC website offers much more than just a new look, Video series, coming seminars show how focus on generosity can invigorate congregations, ‘Crazy big’ Christmas gift brightens Nebraska city, helps kids. “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. Baptized with God’s Love Every Day! They confess their faith in the triune God at stand with their fellow Christians even at the cost of their own lives. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. In the New Testament, the world always refers to the love of Christians for one another. That expression—which has been repeated for centuries—is: “Behold, how they love one another.”. For great indeed, and wonderful is their doctrine to him who will search into it and reflect upon it. After reading what Aristides wrote, most would likely marvel at the example of these Christians. Further, if one or other of them have bondmen and bondwomen or children, through love towards them they persuade them to become Christians, and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction. In Greek, Philadelphia is almost always used of the love among the children in a family. It ought to still be said of followers of Christ, “Behold, how they love one another! To reflect on how worship—singing, teaching, the Lord’s Table, and baptism—shapes those sensitivities of forgiving people that were discussed in the previous study. If you would like to read further, you can find a full translation at either of these links: Â, http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/aristides_05_trans.htm, http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/aristides-kay.html. In 1970, John R. W. Stott concluded his hour-long Bible Study by turning our thoughts to loving the world. It is by such love . See, they say about us, how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves would sooner kill." The church I attended was a conservative Baptist church, and while the church preached about many things – no dancing, drinking, gambling, etc., we rarely heard of the radical love encountered in the teachings of Jesus. There was little support in the Baptist church I attended for the important work that Martin Luther King Jr. was doing to end segregation, and only scorn for those who were burning their draft cards in an effort to bring to an end a horribly unjust war. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. Children of God Love One Another 1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. Some years ago, a distinguished colleague of mine, well-schooled in the discipline of biblical studies and a skilled preacher of the Gospel, took a sabbatical in which he visited Mother Theresa’s home of the indigent in Calcutta, India. Aristides was an early second-century Greek Christian and philosopher who presented a letter of defense to the reigning Caesar (Emperor), Hadrian. Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later.”… - posted by MaryJane, on: 2011/1/16 9:01 One of the most profound comments made regarding the early church came from the lips of a man named Aristides, sen t by the Emperor Hadrian to spy out those strange creatures known as "Christians." . And he who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. On his first day there, as the volunteers lined up for their assignments, he was surprised when he was handed a pair of nail clippers and assigned the task of clipping the nails of those who were too ill to clip their own. These Christians lived, what Jesus commanded, “Love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. And I pray that when people write our histories, they will say of us what has been said of those living in Tertullian’s second century era, “Behold, how they love one another.” May that be our deepest and most lasting legacy. I have often preached on love, and have often heard a question that goes something like this: “How shall I love someone that I don’t like?” The world abounds in people who are difficult to love, so what are we to do? They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. To appreciate the centrality of reconciliation to the church’s ministry. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” In so doing, Stott was drawing upon a very ancient understanding of what it means to be the church. How does every member of a congregation count the interests of every member of the congregation as more important than their own? That type of love is so rarely seen, it would seem peculiar. When we gathered on that day in December 1970, we were momentarily stepping out of a country at war with itself , to consider our calling to be Christian young people. True love always gives, and God set the example in giving sacrificially for our benefit. In his talk that day, Stott said, “If the love in our hearts is Christ’s love, we shall not shrink from sacrificial service, from a service which is costly in energy, dignity, money or time. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. Now turn with me in the New Testament to The Acts of the Apostles. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. Pray. From a world-view, these Christians must’ve been seemed “peculiar.” Not in a negative sense, but in the genuineness and graciousness of their love. After defending the church from false accusations, Tertullian went on to explain what Christians do and why they do it. They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. These Christians’ love was so clearly demonstrated in actions, that the sincerity of their heart was undeniable. I have participated in these and while the experience is very humbling, and sometimes a bit embarrassing for the one who receives the foot-washing, I don’t think institutionalized ‘foot-washing services’ are what Jesus had in mind. 17:21). Tag Archives: Aristides behold how they love one another “The Growing Christian Life” (I Peter 1:22 sermon) Posted on 2019/06/24 by Shawn Thomas. They lived in simplicity. In the following excerpt, he begins by talking about the church’s use of money. 1… Or to give ourselves in genuine friendship – not superficial but sacrificial – to someone hooked on drugs, and stand by him faithfully during the painful period of withdrawal? Jesus rises from the table, puts on the apron of a slave, gathers a basin of water, and then systematically begins washing the feet of his disciples. The first great North African theologian was Tertullian(ca. P.O. These gifts are, as it were, piety’s deposit fund. Just as the second century author of the book of Revelation looked to the promises and hopes of earlier Jewish Apocalyptic writers to provide encouragement and hope for his/her readers, readers enmeshed in very difficult circumstances, so I look to the writings of first and second century followers of Christ to find meaning for the present and future of our church. In 1966, Peter Scholtes, published the hymn, “Behold, how they love another!” The origin of this phrase is generally attributed to Aristides the Athenian (or maybe as a reaction to Aristides’ description of Christians). In the latter part of the second century, the Christian leader Tertullian wrote a defense of Christian practice called the Apologia. Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Baptism of Jesus Sunday at the…, May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in…, Matthew 6:19-34 Sixth Sunday of Thanksgiving A small booklet published recently by the Congregational Vitality…, Matthew 23:11-12 All Saints Sunday One of the great gifts of celebrating All Saints Sunday…, Matthew 22:34-40 World Communion Sunday Underlying our theme for this year of “Building and Deepening…, Mark 10:13-16 Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost Perhaps you’ve had the chance to read a fascinating…, Matthew 18:21-22 International Peace Day Sunday “Long live absolute world peace.” So reads the inscription…, © 2016 Meriden Congregational Church by MCC, Meriden Congregational Church “See how they love one another!” they would remark. That is, we only can tell the world that God sent Jesus Christ to mankind—the most important thing in … John R. W. Stott, rector of All Souls Church in London, and chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. Around 200AD, Tertullian wrote the following quote as an expression of the astonishment the pagans of the day had when they witnessed the love and caring among the Christians: "See how they love one another." They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. The early Christians' love for each other went far beyond pious sentimentality. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. Verses 34, 35. And their oppressors they appease (lit: comfort) and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies; and their women, O King, are pure as virgins, and their daughters are modest; and their men keep themselves from every unlawful union and from all uncleanness, in the hope of a recompense to come in the other world. . They were joined to one another with holy love. . They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. “They are a joyful people.” Aristides watched as “they go their way in all humility and cheerfulness. Our nation still routinely engages in unjust wars to advance its economic and political interests, and – as my friend Richard Crocker notes – ‘Congress has never found a war it didn’t like’ and I would paraphrase him by noting that the church has never found a war it couldn’t support. Though I speak in this very different time, it is, I would observe, not really a better time. Though we have our treasure-chest, it is not made up of purchase-money, as of a religion that has its price. Let us pray. "Behold how they love one another..." 3 How do we love one another? The problem of loving, however, may not lie so much in the people we are commanded to love, as it does in our understanding of what it means to love. One of the most loving things that we can do for each other as a church family is to pray for one another. They do not worship idols (made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others; and of the food which is consecrated to idols they do not eat, for they are pure. Love One Another Tip #1. He states that we can love one another earnestly because the seed from which our new life in Christ sprang is imperishable. Aristides did write, “and they love one another,” about the early Christians. Raised in a pagan family, he was educated in Latin grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy—the standard curriculum for boys who wished to become lawyers or civil servants in the Roman government. Love is the wisdom and power of God. I don’t pretend that what I say will alter the course of this church’s history one bit, but I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to speak in your midst and to your future. 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