“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
-- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
The above quote from Lewis’ remarkable sermon, given in Oxford in 1941, is part of the argument to raise our understanding and practice of what it means to live out the job description God gave us in Genesis 1 and 2: to honor God, steward creation, and bless others. It's not always obvious to us that we’re made in the very image of God, and we certainly struggle with seeing others in that way.
As I’ve mentioned I lead a Community Group studying what it means to live in a redemptive community - and so I’m reminded regularly of the essence of Lewis’ quote. I find it challenging to step into community viewing everyone else as a “holy object”. If this were more in the forefront of my mind I would speak differently, not be so quick to be annoyed or take offence, and would more naturally (and quickly!) seek to serve and bless.
The book of Nehemiah puts forth this theme perhaps better than any other book - both in the redemptive area and the understanding of community. Between Ezra and Nehemiah they took stock of Jerusalem and the remnant of Israelites and embarked on a wholesale restoration of body, mind, and soul - together. If you haven’t read Nehemiah or Ezra recently I encourage you to make time to read them - perhaps to kick off Lent.
Speaking of Lent, one of our speakers from last year has a Lenten outline for those who are so inclined. Lent is a season of repentance that leads to Easter. By taking stock of our soul and our practices, and humbly confessing our sins and inadequacies we prepare to truly enter the joy of Jesus’ resurrection that gave us a new covenant of life and hope. It is a great discipline to enter into and you can find this outline and associated resources here.
Christian Union New York is pursuing all of these thoughts above as we host speakers to challenge our thinking, as we call people to seek the Lord and live in faith, and as we work together redemptively in our vocations and communities. We’re fortunate to see these taking place all over the city and in many different iterations as those who love the Lord seek to live it out. I remain grateful for your prayers, encouragement and financial support to Christian Union in these endeavors.
Christian Union New York
Christian Union DC
For more information on New York City Christian Union Bible Courses and activities, or resources available to you please contact Scott Crosby.