The Martyrdom of Polycarp: Part 2Read part 1 here. Polycarp was taken to the city and met with Irenarch Herod and his father, Nicetes. They tried to persuade Polycarp to say “Lord Caesar” and sacrifice to the gods of Rome in order to spare his life. When he refused, he was ushered into the stadium. […]
After his vision, Polycarp departed for another place to hide. Since the men seeking him did not find him, they seized two young servant boys, and torturing one, got him to confess to Polycarp’s location. Finally, Polycarp’s pursuers found him. He was lying face down in an upper room, refusing to escape to another place, saying, “The will of God be done.”
For many of us, we allow our identity to exist somewhere other than where Christ calls us. We try to live in him, being rooted and built up in him, but we allow ourselves to become captive through hollow and deceptive thoughts. We allow our family, culture, and society to name us. But a pitcher is a pitcher. Calling it a bucket changes what it is and its purpose. But calling it a pitcher identifies it as a vessel to pour water for drinking.
Putting off the Old for the New: Through out Church History, many people – some known but most lost to time – have taken Paul’s challenge seriously, considering their gains as loss of the sake of knowing Christ. One such person, Saint Almachius, found himself so far in Christ, that he changed the new year forever.
The start of the Church Year.
Many people use the Gregorian New Year to check up on their physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional lives and make resolutions to improve those areas. Why not do it with the Church New Year, too?
All of David’s sins cost him the privilege of building God’s Temple. But he was still a man after God’s own heart. His sins, both before and after his desire to build the temple, hurt others, both on a small scale within his family and on a large scale within the people of God. But God still kept his promise and not only established David’s son as king but placed his descendant on the throne forever.
Because the Lord is one, there is one Church. Because the Lord is one, there is one Body. We are one Body, the Church, and our Body is filled with the Spirit. This Body is called to share in one Hope, the Hope that comes from the Gospel message. This Body is to serve one Lord because we have one Faith, and (no matter the mode) all were Baptized in the same waters. Since we are one Body, there is one God, one Father, who is in all.
Without men like Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, and Jan Hus, and the movements spawned from them, we may never have had Martin Luther. And, without Martin Luther, we would never have had John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli. Reform to the Catholic Church would have come – someway or another – and I don’t have an answer for what that would have looked like. But I am thankful for the Reformers and for the Proto-Protestants who had hearts for Scripture and fought for the Church.
From the beginning of human history, humans have been waiting. Waiting for things promised.
The restoration of humanity and the rest of creation to the design of the Garden. A place in the Kingdom of God. God’s people, from the beginning, were told about a blessed promise, a coming King who would rule forever. But they did not get to see it. Some did not get to see it because of their sins. Others did not get to see the promised saviour not because of any wrongdoing on their part, but because it was not time.
Judas (the other) asks Jesus why the world does not get to see Him. I ask myself a similar question: Why do I get to see Jesus – and therefore the Father – but the world doesn’t?