Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Love in Practice . . . Schaeffer

Back to my work through Francis Schaeffer’s book, The Mark of the Christian. We are towards the end as Schaffer continues to help us discern practical ways we can show tangible, visible, love, to both those inside and outside the church. All, for the John 13:34-35 purpose of showing a lost world the "observable" love God has for them by living it in the church.

Today . . .


In this short section Schaeffer calls our attention to "two beautiful examples of observable love” (p. 31). It is the story of how two Church of the Brethren groups in post WW2 Germany came together for healing and reconciliation. The Brethren Church, like many church groups in Germany at that time, experiences a sever split over Hitler’s regime and control. Many allowed him to control them, and many refused. For those who refused, the horrors were the same as the Jewish people of the Concentration camps. And this was precisely where Brethren Church found itself after the War.

Schaeffer tells us the story of how they were reconciled . . .

Key statements from this section (p. 31-33):

Then gradually these brothers came to know that this situation just would not do. A time was appointed when the elders of the two groups could meet together in a certain quiet place. I asked the man who told me this, "What did you do?" And he said, "Well, I'll tell you what we did. We came together, and we set aside several days in which each man would search his own heart." Here was a real difference; the emotions were deeply, deeply stirred. "My father has gone to the concentration camp; my mother was dragged away." These things are not just little pebbles on the beach; they reach into the deep well-springs of human emotions. But these people understood the command of Christ at this place, and for several days every man did nothing except search his own heart concerning his own failures and the commands of Christ. Then they met together.

I asked the man, "What happened then?"

And he said, "We just were one." To my mind, this is exactly what Jesus speaks about. The Father has sent the Son!

You can read the online edition of the entire book here >>

3 John 8
Bill H.

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