Monday, January 05, 2004

Where to Find Christ if You've Lost Him

From John Donne and our friends at the Bruderhof Communities - They Took My Lord Away by John Donne:

"To lose Christ may befall the most righteous person that is; but then he knows where he left him; he knows at what time he lost his way, and where to seek it again. Even Christ's imagined father and his true mother, Joseph and Mary, lost him, and lost him in the holy city at Jerusalem. They lost him and knew it not. They lost him and went a day's journey without him and thought him to be in the company. But as soon as they comprehended their error, they sought and they found him, when as his mother told him, his father and she had sought with a heavy heart.

Alas we may lose him at Jerusalem, even in his own house, even at this moment while we pretend to do him service. We may lose him by suffering our thoughts to look back with pleasure upon the sins which we have committed, or to look forward with greediness upon some sin that is now in our purpose and prosecution. We may lose him at Jerusalem, how much more, if our dwelling be a Babylon in confusion and mingling God and the world together, or if it be a Sodom, a wanton and intemperate misuse of God's benefits to us. We may think him in the company when he is not; we may mistake his house; we may take a conventicle for a Church; we may mistake his apparel, that is, the outward form of his worship; we may mistake the person, that is, associate ourselves to such as are no members of his body.

But if we do not return to our diligence to seek him, and seek him, and seek him with a heavy heart, though we began with a taking away - other men, other temptations took him away - yet we end in a casting away, we ourselves cast him away since we have been told where to find him and have not sought him. And let no one be afraid to seek or find him for fear of the loss of good company; faith is no sullen thing, it is not a melancholy, there is not so sociable a thing as the love of Christ Jesus.
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