"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, September 10, 2004 "Death is strong, for it can rob us of the gift of life. Love too is strong, for it can restore us to a better life.
"Death is strong, for it can strip us of this robe of flesh. Love too is strong, for it can take death's spoils away and give them back to us.
"Death is strong, for no one can withstand it. Love too is strong, for it can conquer death itself, soothe its sting, calm its violence, ,and bring its victory to naught. The time will come when death is reviled and taunted: 'O death, where is your sting? O death, where is your victory?'
"Love is as strong as death because Christ's love is the very death of death. Hence it is said: 'I will be your death, O death! I will be your sting, O hell!' Our love for Christ is also as strong as death, because it is itself a kind of death: destroying the old life, rooting out vice, and laying aside dead works.
"Our love for Christ is a return, though very unequal, for his love of us, and it is a likeness modelled on his. For 'he first loved us' and, through the example of love he gave us, he became a seal upon us by which we are made like him. We lay aside the likeness of the earthly person and put on the likeness of the heavenly person; we love him as he has loved us. For in this matter 'he has left us an example so that we might follow in his steps.'
"That is why he says: 'Set me as a seal upon your heart.' It is as if he were saying: 'Love me as I love you. Keep me in your mind and memory, in your desires and yearnings, in your groans and sobs. Remember the kind of being I made you; how far I set you above other creatures; the dignity I conferred upon you; the glory and honor with which I crowned you; how I made you only a little less than the angels and set all things under your feet. Remember not only how much I have done for you but all the hardship and shame I have suffered for you. Yet look and see: Do you not wrong me? Do you not fail to love me? Who loves you as I do? Who created and redeemed you but I?'
"Lord, take away my heart of stone, a heart so bitter and uncircumcised, and give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a pure heart. You cleanse the heart and love the clean heart. Take possession of my heart and dwell in it, contain it and fill it, you who are higher than the heights of my spirit and closer to me than my innermost self! You are the pattern of all beauty and teh seal of all holiness. Set the seal of your likeness upon my heart! In your mercy set your seal upon my heart, O God of my heart, O God who is my portion for ever!"
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."