UNBORN WORD of the day


“NOW IS THE ACCEPTABLE TIME”
July 16, 2008, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Thriving Not Just Surviving!

THRIVING NOT JUST SURVIVING!

A series of reflections on living the Christian Life in a Time of Cultural Upheaval (a Culture of Life under attack by a culture of death which erodes traditional beliefs and values).

3

Saint Paul speaks of “working with” Christ, then:

“…we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
‘At the acceptable time I have listened to you,
and helped you on the day of salvation.
‘Behold, now is the acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:1-2)

And so is today the acceptable time, even when humanity’s moral compass is spinning wildly out of control – especially when it is spinning thus – this is the appropriate time to trust in God and seek His will with all our hearts. Paul is telling us that “the acceptable time” is the same time as “the day of salvation”. In other words, it is a time to act, to live by faith.

The day of salvation, if anything, is a day of spiritual opportunities, that is, it is a day full of promise.

But the world around us is shifting like the sand, blowing hither and thither, aimlessly destroying the moral order that had been constructed over the centuries according to the Judaeo-Christian heritage we perhaps took for granted for too long. Now it is disappearing. To be replaced by a false morality with new false gods and creeds of false tolerance which erode the true tolerance born of mercy which God taught us through the millennia.

But now, the Church is to be purified – is now being purified – has been undergoing purification for some time now, but did we notice? Did we understand?

The Christian must turn to God in union with the body of the Church and “accept the (purifying) grace of God”, not “in vain”, but with docility, in order to move the Church forward and his/her own relationship with God forward. Within this present cultural upheaval, one discovery the Church must make and the Christian must accept, is that God desires to purify His people.

So it was with the martyrs in prior turbulent times, so it is now in our own privileged time. The logic of Christian daily living is shifting a little bit now. Acts we once took for granted, must now be seen for what they are. To kneel and worship God, for example, is a privilege. Take advantage of it! And know that it is pleasing to God.

To offer thanks to God before a meal is a privilege. To sit in a chapel and pray quietly is a privilege. To take an evening walk and speak softly to God in Heaven is a privilege. Even to be purified – as hard as it might be – is a privilege.

The privileges multiply as grace abounds all the more, all around. But “the acceptable time” is also a time of responsibility. Listen to the question Jesus posed after one of His parables:

“…when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8)

Let him who has ears hear this question. Let each Christian reply as one New Testament parent did: “I believe; help my unbelief!” The Son of man wants to find faith on earth when He returns! Will He have to hunt forever to uncover our faith or will He immediately see it, perhaps flickering like a candle ‘midst breezes, but lit nonetheless?

Now let’s go back to the parable which preceded the foregoing question from Jesus. It was a parable about persistence in prayer (about the widow and the “judge who neither feared God nor regarded man” Lk 18:1-8). Perseverance in prayer provides stability in times of upheaval and faithlessness.

George A. Peate, July 17, 2008


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