Chapter 27 » 27.29

Friends and the Christian church

The Bible

A host of scholars have been at work for centuries to discover and understand the Jesus of history, and with strangely divergent results. The great quest still goes on and I seek to learn from it. But I cannot separate the Lord and Master of the first disciples from his risen spirit and personality which has gone on unfolding itself to those who seek him, healing, renewing, inspiring, redeeming and guiding.

Thus I try to keep in touch with his life and message given first in Palestine, with the impact of his life and personality on the early disciples, as day by day I read a portion of the New Testament; I try, too, to learn something of what his spirit has enabled others to be down all the ages since, from the study of the lives of the saints, both canonised and uncanonised, and by reading some of their writings. In the life of many who would not be called saints, and some even who might not be thought of as good men or women, I find flashes of light which to me are sparks or gleams from the light of Christ. I know that my own thoughts of God, my experience, my clumsy and imperfect prayer, are all penetrated by what Jesus Christ has meant to me. In doubts and difficulty his faith in God’s love, his willingness to face even the awful burden of the cross and all that it involved, are a constant stay, bringing renewal of faith and of hope.

T Edmund Harvey, 1949

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