Beautiful. I think I will print this off. The first one, ‘hope’ really hits home for me. After everything I have been through I have to work hard at not being depressed every time I look at the world. There was a time a few years ago when all I saw was darkness. Yet the darkness also allowed me to see where the light was coming from and I think that is a gift. I learned, from my church and particularly from my dear friends at Celebrate Recovery, that the light shines from Christ, and from Christ alone. I can’t say I want to repeat those dark days, but I do recognise the legacy they left me with: a deep understanding of brokenness, compassion, and knowing my Shepherd’s voice.
‘In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.
And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].’
John 1:4-5 (Amplified)
Seeing the presence of good in all things helps me stay on an even keel. In fact, the entire seven of these Celtic Christian Distinctives can also be thought of in the context of one of my favourite bible passages, Phillippians 4:8 –
‘Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’
or, as another translation renders it –
‘Here is a last piece of advice. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find the God of peace will be with you.’
1). Hope – Looks first for the good rather than the evil in all things.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” -Genesis 1:31
“And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” -I Corinthians 13:13
2). Equality – Of men and women, clergy and laity.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28
“You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” -I Peter 2:5
3). Mystery – The Infinite God cannot be fully comprehended or explained by finite man.
“Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath…
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